Brookhaven Lab Hosts Lab Fire Safety Training

In April, the Energy and Utilities Group within the Lab’s Facility and Operations Directorate sponsored a three-day National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) training course on the Lab site. The training module (NFPA-45), which focused on the specifics of handling chemical fires in laboratories, was attended by nearly 50 Lab employees from various departments, as well as participants from the U.S. Department of Energy, Stony Brook University, Farmingdale State College, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. 

“As part of our efforts to continuously improve our safety program, we want to ensure that personnel know what to do should they encounter a chemical fire or emergency event in a laboratory setting,” said Mike Kretschmann, manager of the Lab’s Fire Protection Engineering Group. “This training was a great opportunity for our own staff and staff at other major Long Island research institutions to learn about best fire practices under various scenarios.”

The course, based on NFPA 2015 fire protection requirements, provided the most up-to-date techniques for chemical fires, an important consideration at research institutions like Brookhaven. Attendees also learned current requirements for storage, use, handling of flammable and combustible materials, and best management practices for fire prevention.

“Andrew Minister, the chief fire protection engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, conducted this training at Brookhaven,” added Kretschmann. “Andrew is a recognized expert in the field of fire protection.”

Minister, who has 39 years of fire protection experience, is chair of the Technical Committee of Laboratories Using Chemicals for the National Fire Protection Association and has provided technical support for a nuclear safety program project by providing training to Russian and Ukrainian staff on fire hazards analysis of former Soviet nuclear power plants. He has given presentations at NFPA conferences and served as a consultant for fire protection programs at Laboratories across the DOE complex.

“The participants thought the training was helpful,” said Ed Murphy, manager of the Lab’s energy and utilities division. “We plan to continue to provide important programs like this in the future. It is vital for the safety of our employees, guests, users, and the Lab’s facilities that we keep our emergency responders and essential personnel properly trained on current requirements, techniques, and best practices.”

Tags: safety

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