What to Do during an Emergency

During an emergency or when the building alarm activates:

  • Remain calm, for panic produces injuries;
  • Follow the instructions given by Safety Officers and comply with any provisions applicable for the specific situation;
  • Evacuate the premises and file out to the emergency gathering point in an orderly fashion, by exiting the closest exit, as indicated in the posted evacuation route maps, and closing any fire door behind you;
  • Do not use lifts in case of fire;
  • If corridors and staircases are filled with smoke, don’t leave the room (well closed doors and covered up openings can protect you for a long time) and try to report your location by any means;
  • Help colleagues in difficulty and if reasonably safe under the circumstances, and, in any case, as quickly as possible, put any hazardous materials in a safe storage place in order to limit the event’s consequences. Operators and students in particular should not do any other operation unless duly instructed.

Fire prevention

Specific procedures are in place in each laboratory to be followed in case of a fire. Lab Managers must inform anyone entering the Lab about these procedures. 
As a general rule, first turn the power supply off and remove any highly flammable materials and/or compressed gas cylinders from the room. 
The following devices and equipment are available in all labs, as indicated in the Floor Maps posted on every floor.

  • Alarm Button:for use in case of a fire to inform all the other personnel in the premises
  • Fire extinguishers:for use on small fires to fight fire at the incipient stage 




  • Fire Hydrants: for use to control the fire.

Fire hydrants must never be used on energised electric equipment
Fully unfold the fire hose reel before opening the water supply valve
Aim the water jet at the base of the flames.

  • Fire Exits: they are designed to quickly evacuate the building in case of danger.

Signs (in green) point to the escape route to be followed. In an emergency, never use lifts or freight elevators.

First Aid

How to respond if someone is injured:

  • Don’t try to move an injured person (unless s/he is in a polluted or otherwise dangerous place): improper moving can increase the severity of an injury;
  • Immediately call to request emergency medical assistance (ambulance) to carry the victim to the hospital. While waiting for medical aid, keep the victim on their back or side and moderately warm;
  • Don’t give them anything to eat or drink.

How to respond if someone is electrocuted:

  • If a person has been electrocuted, turn off the power supply before touching the victim;
  • If this proves to be impossible, you can insulate yourself with rubber gloves or dry cloth while you pull them off of the wires;
  • If the victim can drink, you may give them something to drink (possibly containing stimulants such as caffeine);
  • If necessary, respiratory assistance is to be commenced immediately, preferably using the mouth-to-mouth method;
  • If you see that the injured person is bleeding from their mouth or nose, lie them on their side in the safety position. Don’t do anything else;
  • Immediately call to request emergency medical assistance (ambulance) to carry the victim to the hospital. While waiting for medical aid, keep the victim on their back or side and moderately warm;

How to respond if someone is contaminated by chemical substances:

  • Clean the exposed skin with running water, safety showers, eye washes, etc...;
  • Consult the safety sheet of the contaminating chemical product (kept in the reagents’ cabinet) for first aid measures
  • Avoid release of contaminating chemical substances to the environment;
  • Clean up contaminated surfaces with proper absorbing materials wearing gloves compatible with the chemical to be cleaned up;
  • Immediately report any nuisance odours or other unusual situations in the labs to the Department Staff.

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 Università degli Studi
di Genova

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