From: Jeffrey Lewin <jclewin**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Requirement for alarms
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2018 13:16:40 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: CAEwQnqjzPd6Z_VDQrSMd7mWSNLKEd84gP6Am7s6BVWbb85w2-g**At_Symbol_Here**

The real challenge I find with gas leak response is trying to eliminate all the common false alarm issues. In the 25 years in Biological Sciences, I don't recall one out of a dozen plus investigations in our Department that was actually due to natural gas being released but other "natural gas like" smells. Common causes were actually sewer gas smells from dried out floor drain traps, engine exhaust being pulled into the building due to open loading docks, and "biological odors" from laboratories. When you call 911 and report a gas leak the local Fire Department is automatically called out. During one such call a few years ago, after I and several Facilities workers agreed the "gas smell" was likely a biological odor, we traipsed around the building, the FD in their turnout gear with SCBA's shouting at each other readings from their 4 gas meters, only to determine that the odor was coming from the autoclave room where someone had put something stinky in the autoclave. The one upside was that we determined that the local ventilation in that room needed servicing.

Of course, now that I'm on the other side of the fence in EHS, if someone calls in a "gas leak" they are advised to evacuate and call 911. But, more than likely it will result in lots of PM's for Facilities to check traps or ventilation and/or conversations with PI's that don't understand why everyone is complaining about their smelly research.

Good luck,

On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 6:27 PM Pam <aubu**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

I just received the message below from my Dean

I would have thought that there were gas sensors in place and that would alarm in the event of a leak and that at the very least the building should be evacuated????

Can anyone help me on this

"Last week, we met with Emergency Management about the standard operating procedure for someone that smells gas in a classroom. The following should be followed:
1) If gas is smelled in the classroom, and the gas burners are not in operation, get the students out of the classroom immediately. They should be moved to the hallway, with the classroom door being closed behind everyone.
2) Go to the classroom next door, pick up the classroom phone and let the police dispatcher know of the gas smell and the classroom number (remember that you are calling from a different classroom).
3) The police dispatch will alert facilities and if necessary, the fire department.
4) The faculty will then wait in the hallway with the students while facilities investigates and resolves any issues."

Pamela Auburn, PhD
2041 Branard
Houston TX 77098

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Jeff Lewin
Chemical Safety Officer
Compliance, Integrity, and Safety
Environmental Health and Safety
Michigan Technological University
Houghton, MI 49931

O 906-487.3153
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