Here, in research labs, the fire department wants the hoods left on to clear smoke, etc. Obviously, in any HVAC system that recirculated some of the air, you would usually want those systems shutdown.
What is the consensus for laboratory fume hoods when the system's connected to the general fire alarm, should the system automatically turn the fume hoods ON or OFF when the general fire alarm sounds? The priority for people is to get out, and not look around for things to turn ON or OFF - we let the automation handle that part. We have conflicting opinions between knowledgeable people who have good reasons to go either way on that.
The fume hoods are standard built-in ducted devices that are hepa-filtered at the roof stage. They're strictly working hoods, only enough solvents and other materials are used inside for doing the task at hand (not used for storage or anything else that might cause unnecessary hazards or obstruct efficient air flow).
Thanks for sharing your opinions.
Eric Clark, MS, CHMM, CCHO
Safety Officer, Public Health Scientist III
Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratory
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