fire alarm

Lab Safety & Chemical Hygiene Program

Emergency Response & Preparedness



Chemical Incidents

Exposure to Personnel

  • If it is safe to do so, remove contaminated victim(s) from area
  • Call 911 for immediate medical attention or if chemical release threatens others. (Refer to the Medical Emergency section on this page)
  • If necessary, activate the fire alarm, and evacuate the building
  • Remove contaminated clothing and use emergency eyewash/shower
  • Administer first aid as appropriate
  • Notify EH&S at 805.893.3194 (24 hr phone line)
  • Provide information, including Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) to emergency responders

Contamination of Equipment/Facilities

  • If a spill/release is a threat to health or safety, call 911
  • Restrict access to avoid exposure and spread of contamination
  • Perform cleanup only if the spill is less than 1 liter, you are familiar with the material, and you are properly trained and equipped. Some lab buildings have communal spill cleanup supply closets. Inquire locally, or consult EH&S
  • If needed, request cleanup assistance from EH&S at 805.893.3194 (24 hr phone line). After business hours, a message will refer you to another phone number
  • If material is radioactive or biological, see the Radioactive Contamination/Spills or Exposure to Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials sections on this page
  • Bag the waste and use a UCSB Hazardous Waste label. Store waste in a fume hood if material is volatile. Call EH&S at 805.893.7705 for pick up

Release to the Environment (Air, Water, Soil)

  • If safe to do so, stop the release
  • If a spill/release is a threat to health or safety, call 911
  • Notify EH&S at 805.893.3194 (24 hr phone line)
  • Follow procedures above for contamination of equipment/facilities


  • Know the location of fire extinguishers in your area and know how to use them. Fire extinguisher training is available for departments by request at 805.893.7751
  • For a minor fire that appears to be controllable, activate the building fire alarm system at the nearest manual fire alarm pull box. Immediately call 911. Use the appropriate fire extinguisher to control the flames. Get help if necessary
  • For a larger fire that is not easily controllable, close all doors to confine the fire and to reduce oxygen. Activate the building fire alarm system at the nearest manual fire alarm pull box, then immediately call 911. Give all information requested (your name, exact location, size and progress of the fire, etc.)
  • Notify your supervisor or instructor, then evacuate the building by quickly walking to the nearest exit, alerting people as you go and assisting those with disabilities as necessary. Do not use elevators for evacuation
  • Once outside, move to a clear area at least 50 feet away from the affected building. Keep the walkways and vehicle access lanes clear for emergency vehicles. Utilize the designated building Emergency Assembly Point if it is free of smoke, and wait for instructions
  • Report all fires, regardless of size to Campus Police at 805.893.3446
  • Report any fire extinguisher that has been discharged, has lost pressure, or is out-of-date to Physical Facilities- Life Safety Services at 805.893.8300

Medical Emergency

If the situation is threatening to life or limb, emergency medical care should be sought immediately.

  • Call 911 for paramedic assistance
  • If poisoning is suspected, contact the Poison Control Center at 800.222.1222

Staff and Faculty Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

Immediately contact EH&S at 805.893.3194 if an employee is expected to be hospitalized for 24 hours or longer, or has an injury that results in a loss of limb (amputation) or loss of life. These incidents must be reported to OSHA within 8 hours of the event.

Student Injuries and Illnesses

  • If immediate medical assistance is required, call 911. There is no charge for the paramedics to evaluate a victim. If transport is required to the emergency room, standard charges apply
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Students can be treated at Student Health Services. Call 805-893-3371 for more information

Exposure to Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials

To prevent exposure:

  • Post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, and undergraduates generating medical waste are required to attend bloodborne pathogens training annually
  • Review and follow your lab’s Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan
  • Review and follow your lab’s Aerosol Transmittable Disease Biosafety and Exposure Control Plan
  • Contact the EH&S Biosafety Officer for more information

If you are exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials:

  1. Immediately wash area(s) with soap and water and use an emergency eyewash or shower for 15 minutes.
  2. Seek medical treatment.
    • Healthcare providers treating accidental exposures must be informed of any biological materials that may be involved in the exposure.
    • Report any unexpected acute illness to the institution.
    • The hepatitis B vaccination series could begin right away to any susceptible, unvaccinated person preferably within 24 hours and no later than 7 days.
    • Consider preserving a sample of the inoculum for later source testing for bloodborne pathogens.
  3. Notify your supervisor.
  4. Notify EH&S at 893.3194 (24 hr phone line).
  5. Document the incident by filling out an Incident Report Form located at

Radioactive Contamination/Spills

Call EH&S at 805.893.3194 (24 hr phone line) for assistance.

  • State that assistance is needed from EH&S Radiation Safety related to a radiation emergency
  • State your name, phone number, location, and nature of the radiation emergency (personnel or area contamination)

Personnel Decontamination*

If a person has been contaminated with radioactive material:

  • Immediately remove all contaminated items of clothing. Place contaminated items in a bag
  • Wash contaminated skin with cold water and a mild soap
  • If medical assistance is required, follow the guidance in the Medical Emergency section of this page

Containing the Spill/Room Evacuation*

  • Notify people in the immediate area that a spill has occurred
  • Confine/isolate the spill with absorbent paper or another suitable material
  • If deemed appropriate, or if directed by EH&S, evacuate all people from the immediate area of the spill to a nearby location where they can be surveyed for contamination
  • Close all doors to the contaminated room and post signs indicating the hazardous condition
  • Limit the movement of contaminated people to reduce the spread of contamination
*Decontamination of personnel and areas must be performed by people who are properly trained and who are wearing appropriate protective clothing, including disposable gloves, a lab coat, long pants and fully enclosed shoes (e.g., no shorts or sandals). Persons performing decontamination must have radiation-monitoring equipment appropriate for the radiation emitted by the radionuclide involved in the spill.

Requirements for First Aid and CPR Supplies

An adequate and readily available first aid kit is required in every workplace. These first aid kits must be compliant with ANSI Z308.1: Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits.

These kits can be assembled by purchasing the individual components as described in the ANSI standard. Alternately, several vendors sell premade ANSI compliant kits.

Other Information