From: Debbie M. Decker <dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Fume hoods purge buttons
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2013 15:29:43 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 3A8C48EDD1C95B4695A9E6C912D43DE22A08740D**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <1721828558.511361.1377123407010.JavaMail.root**At_Symbol_Here**>



That’s _precisely_ the information one needs to know before pushing the button!  Good for you.


In our new winery building, there are a series of buttons on the wall – one is an emergency purge button.  But there are other buttons that do other things to the ventilation and lighting system and we worked hard to make sure they were all marked.  Some of the winery staff thought it was ridiculous.  But when I asked the project manager what the buttons did and she wasn’t entirely certain, I had good support for good labeling.


It reminds us to be sure we’re communicating clearly, doesn’t it?  Making assumptions about what a “panic button” might do could have serious unintended consequences.





From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU]On Behalf Of Don Abramowitz
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 3:17 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Fume hoods purge buttons


This conversation has prompted me to re-label all of ours.  They came labeled "panic button," which seems like a ridiculous label for a red button in a hallway.   For a time, we were told they actually turned off the fume hoods, which was simply false, but the rationale was that would be a good thing to do in a case of a fume hood fire and were labeled as such.

Having verified that they do in fact crank up the fume hoods (which are for the most part of a two-stage VAV design), they now bear the following legend:
"PURGE BUTTON:  In case of chemical spill or release, press to maximize laboratory exhaust ventilation."   No guarantee that pressing it will solve your particular problem, but at least it's truth in labeling.


Donald Abramowitz, CIH
Environmental Health & Safety Officer
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA


Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.