Laboratory Safety

Lab Permits and Certificates of Fitness (C-14)

The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) requires a permit whenever a lab stores or uses more than one gallon of flammable/combustible liquid or 75 standard cubic feet (SCF) of flammable gas. The permit is associated with a maximum storage volume for flammable liquids and gases (typically, 15 gallons in most Brooklyn College labs). Check for the Lab Type (I-IV) on your lab’s permit posted in your lab. FDNY inspects the lab every 12 months to renew the permit.

FDNY also requires that labs must be under the supervision of a certificate of fitness holder also called “COF” or “C-14.” When the lab is in operation and during instructional lab periods, including weekends and holidays, a C-14 holder must be on the premises to ensure safe operation. The C-14 holders are responsible for monitoring FDNY compliance within their own laboratories. Laboratories operating without a C-14 holder present can be issued violation orders or shut down by FDNY. Labs should have multiple C-14 holders in order to ensure sufficient coverage during lab operations.

Chemical Safety

A Chemical Hygiene Plan (PDF) has been developed and implemented in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laboratory standard 29CFR 1910.1450. These procedures apply to all employees in the college’s teaching and research laboratories whose activities involve the use of chemicals and/or other potentially hazardous materials. This plan outlines the required procedures for the proper storage, use, and disposal of these materials. Another important reference is the CUNY Laboratory Safety Manual (PDF), which specifies regulatory requirements as well as CUNY guidelines.

Radiation Safety

Principal investigators planning to conduct research involving radioactive isotopes must submit an application to the Radiation Safety Committee. Once the committee approves the protocol, the radiation safety officer will submit an application for license amendment to the New York City Department of Health for the principal investigator to be added to the college’s license. Comprehensive information regarding the proper use of radioisotopes and protection against radiation exposure is provided in the Brooklyn College Radiation Safety Plan (PDF).


Information regarding the safe handling of infectious agents and potentially infectious materials is provided in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Biosafety Guidelines.

All employees working with these materials must be familiar with the CDC guidelines and have received appropriate training. The EHS hazardous materials manager is available for consultation when additional information on maintaining safety in the laboratory is required.

Laboratory Safety Equipment

EHS provides assistance with the proper selection, function, and use of safety equipment, including the inspection and evaluation of fume hoods, emergency showers/eyewashes, fire extinguishers, etc. For assistance with testing of safety equipment, contact the EHS Office, 718.951.5400. To request maintenance and repair of safety equipment, contact the Office of Facilities, 718.951.5885.


Laboratory Safety Training
Laboratory Permits and FDNY Certificate of Fitness (C-14) Supervising Non-Production Chemical Laboratories
Laboratory Chemical Spill Guidelines

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