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Fire Safety in Chemical Laboratories


16 August 2013

Fire safety is a key issue for all chemical laboratories. Since 1997 there have been 25 serious fires in laboratories each of which incurred losses in excess of 13 million (Source: Fire Protection Association). Of these fires 12 were in schools, 11 in universities and 2 in industry. The known causes of fires included arson (36%), electrical faults (16%) and heat sources (16%). There have also been numerous minor fires in chemical laboratories. Fires cause fatalities, serious injury and serious disruption to normal work activities.

Fire Safety legislation has recently undergone major reform and consolidation. Fifty items of primary legislation have been amended or revoked including the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997. As a result a fire certificate is no longer required.

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Contact and Further Information

Ciara Dempsey
Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF
Tel: +44 (0)1223 420066
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 423623