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Emergency Preparedness and Response - Lab Equipment


Safety equipment plays a vital role in your laboratory. Take time to locate the safety equipment in your lab. Make sure the equipment is accessible and is functioning properly.

In this section, you’ll learn about personal protective equipment and other safety equipment in the laboratory including chemical cabinets, first aid kits, chemical showers and eye wash stations, fire extinguishers, and spill kits.


Fume Hood

A properly maintained fume hood will contain air contaminants and keep them from your breathing zone. Although EH&S inspects and certifies your fume hood annually, you should verify that the fume hood is working properly before each use.


Fume Hood Care

Operator responsibilities

  • Verify proper air flow
  • Keep sash at proper height
  • Minimize storage in the hood

EHS responsibilities

  • Ensure fume hoods are tested annually
  • Initiates the repair process
  • ** If your fume hood does not operate properly, contact EH&S to request that repairs be made.

Facilities responsibilities

  • Make minor repairs
  • Work with contractor on larger issues

Place the fume hood sash at or below the maximum sash height, as indicated by the arrow on the face of the hood. Verify that the hood is operating in safe mode. Verify proper air flow by taping a tissue paper to the bottom of the sash. The tissue paper should move away from you, toward the inside of the hood.

Minimize storage in the fume hood. If a large piece of equipment must be used inside the fume hood, raise the equipment two to three inches off the surface to maintain the proper flow of air.


Flammable Liquids

Flammable safety cabinets and cans are designed to isolate flammable liquids from fire. If your lab contains more than 40 liters of flammables liquids, store the chemicals in a flammable safety cabinet. Single container volumes of 4 liters or more must be stored in the original container or a flammable safety can.


    First Aid Kit

A well-stocked first aid kit should be available to each lab. You may purchase a kit or assemble one yourself according the First Aid Guidelines, which can be found on the EH&S website.

 Safety Shower

Locate the safety shower nearest to your lab. Laboratories that use corrosive or toxic chemicals are required to have access to a safety shower within 10 seconds travel time. Keep the area around your Safety Shower clear for easy access. EHS inspects and flushes safety showers weekly.

      Fire Extinguisher

All laboratory staff, are required to complete Fire Safety and Extinguisher Training. During the training, you will learn about the use of fire extinguishers and about building evacuation procedures. Never attempt to use a fire extinguisher unless you have received training, feel comfortable doing so, and have a clear path to an exit. Keep the area around the Fire Extinguisher clear. Fire Extinguishers are Checked monthly by EHS.

             Eyewash Stations

In an Emergency, where chemicals get into your eyes, make your way to the eyewash as quickly as possible, start the eyewash, and place your eyes in the water. Then remove your gloves and hold your eyes open to thoroughly rinse them. Eye injuries and exposures should always be followed up with medical care. Always keep the area around an eyewash station clear. EHS inspects and flushes safety showers and eyewash stations weekly.


                            Spill Kit

Make sure a spill kit is accessible for your lab. Look in your spill kit. Does it contain adequate quantities of floor dry material or absorbent pads?

If you have user knowledge of a spilled material and are aware that no significant hazards are present and you have the appropriate materials and training, you can clean up the spill.

If you don’t have user knowledge of the spilled materials you will need to consult the Safety Data Sheet for proper spill clean-up procedures. Please contact Public Safety at 271-2222 if you do not feel comfortable cleaning up the spill on your own.

If you are using a floor dry spill kit, first place an absorbent barrier around the spilled material. Use tongs to remove any broken glass from the liquid. If dry and possible remove the waste tag from the bottle to keep for later use. Place all broken glass into the laboratory broken class collection container. Slowly work from the outside in placing floor dry onto the spilled material. Ensuring complete coverage of the liquid. Wait a few minutes to allow all liquid to be absorbed. Slowly mix the floor dry and sweep up the material. Put the used floor dry into a plastic bag.

If you are using an absorbent pad spill kit, first place a spill sock around the spilled material. Use tongs to remove any broken glass from the liquid. If dry and possible remove the waste tag from the bottle to keep for later use. Place all broken glass into the laboratory broken class collection container. Next, Set the Universal spill pads on the liquid and wait a few minutes for the chemicals to absorb. Once that is done begin removing the universal spill pads and wipe up any residual remaining. Place the used spill pads into a plastic bag. Unused materials may be placed back into the spill kit. Give the area a final wipe down with paper towels and water. Place the used paper towel into the plastic bag.

Regardless of the spill kit used place the waste label on the plastic bag, Mark it as spill clean-up materials and contact your lab supervisor or EHS for disposal and to restock the spill kit for future uses.









Drake Public Safety
     emergency 811

Drake Public Safety, 
    non-emergency - 515-271-2222

- Des Moines police, fire, ambulance,
     emergency - 911
-  Des Moines police,
     non-emergency 9-283-4811
- American Republic Student 
  Health Center  
- Employee Assistance Program
Title IX

(These contacts are all relative to being dialed on campus)


Emergency Procedures

Emergency Procedures Manual