Power Outages in Labs

laboratory beakersPrepare for a Power Outage:

  1. Be sure the contact information on your lab door placard is up-to-date. Ideally, contacts should be knowledgeable about all of the lab’s sensitive operations.
  2. Put essential equipment on emergency power circuits, if available.
  3. Hazardous processes that operate unattended should be programmed to shut down safely during a power failure and not restart automatically when power returns.
  4. Identify an emergency source of dry ice for items that must be kept cold. Do not use dry ice in small enclosed and occupied areas because hazardous concentrations of CO2 can accumulate. Unopened refrigerators/ freezers will maintain temperature for several hours.

During Power Outage:

  1. Shut down experiments that involve hazardous materials or equipment that automatically restart when power is available.
  2. Make sure that experiments are stable. Cap all chemical containers that are safe to cap, and then close fume hood sashes.
  3. Check equipment on emergency power. In some cases, it may take 20 to 30 seconds for the emergency power to activate after a power failure.
  4. Disconnect unattended equipment and turn off unnecessary equipment.
  5. When power returns, reset/restart/check equipment. Check the airflow of your fume hood. Often, hoods willnot automatically restart.