Today at Berkeley Lab

Recent Potter Street Fire a Strong Reminder for Fire Safety

On Monday, there was a two-alarm fire at the Potter Street building, started when an HVAC contractor’s work ignited roofing insulation materials. Occupants evacuated quickly and safely. The event serves as a refresher on Lab safety and evacuation protocol.
• Employees eventually did go home as a result of the fire, so collect personal items, providing it doesn’t delay you, in case you can’t re-enter.
• The Building Manager and Building Emergency Team members preformed a “sweep” of the building on two separate occasions, ensuring employees vacated after retrieving personal belongings.
• This incident was related to work performed by a contractor for the landlord, but the Lab has its own hot work permit for any operation that produces flames, sparks, or heat, such as welding, grinding, thawing pipe, hot riveting, and BBQ’s.

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  1. I think this incident validates the vital importance of communications between the BET’s and BM with the EOC. Protected radio communications is the best solution and is a standard through all the First Responders world wide as a critical necessity. Radios are the perfect tool for the teams to coordinate and verify of a complete building sweep or if they come upon with an issue that needs more assistance, that information can be instantaneously conveyed to a multitude of people/organizations, minimizing the time and the risks to the teams spent sweeping a building that is in a state of an emergency evacuation.

  2. I thought the Building Emergency Team performed admirably, and are to be commended for their efforts on Monday afternoon!