Refrigerator and Freezer Purchasing Procedure
for UCI Laboratories
This procedure outlines the
campus guidelines for the purchasing of refrigerators or freezers
for use in campus laboratories.
- Program Description
- Specific Program Components
This refrigerator and freezer purchasing procedure
was developed to assist the campus community in purchasing the appropriate
refrigerator or freezer for their particular use.
This procedure applies to all UC Irvine owned or
Adequate Separation: A distance of 8 linear feet between domestic refrigerators
or freezers and flammable liquid or gaseous reagents in a laboratory
Designated Clean Area: Follow EH&S clean area guidelines: https://www.ehs.uci.edu/programs/labres/CLEAN_AREA_PROCEDURE.pdf
Domestic Refrigerator or Freezer: Standard household refrigerator or
freezer. These units are generally sold at department stores and other
retail outlets and are only approved for the storage of food or storage
of non-reactive or non-flammable reagents and preserved biological specimens.
Flammable reagents: A reagent that has a flash point of 80 o F or less.
Flammable Material Storage Refrigerators and Freezers: Laboratory refrigerators
or freezers approved for the storage of flammable or reactive reagents.
These units are generally sold through laboratory equipment supply outlets
such as Fisher Scientific or VWR.
General-Purpose Lab Refrigerators or Freezers: Laboratory refrigerators
and freezers approved for the storage of nonvolatile reagents and nonvolatile
biological specimens. These units are generally sold through laboratory
equipment supply outlets such as Fisher Scientific or VWR.
Laboratory Setting: For the purpose of this procedure, a laboratory
setting is defined as a room where flammable or reactive chemicals are
used or hazardous materials are stored.
Personal Use: For the purpose of this procedure, personal use is
defined as storing staff lunches and other personal items in a refrigerator
or freezer. Personal use refrigerators must be purchased with employee
personal contributions only.
Reactive reagents: For the purpose of this procedure, the term
reactive reagent is defined as a material, which will spontaneously or
vigorously reacts with air or water.
All UC Irvine faculty, staff and students are responsible
for compliance with this program as it relates to operations under their
control or activities in which they participate.
Specific Program Components
5.1 What type of refrigerator or freezer will I need
| I need a refrigerator or freezer to store only food for my department's
general use OUTSIDE OF THE LAB ENVIRONMENT.
|| Buy a domestic
household type unit with an "Energy Star" rating.
| I need a refrigerator or freezer to store nonvolatile reagents
or nonvolatile biological specimens INSIDE A LAB ENVIRONMENT.
|| Buy a general-purpose lab refrigerator or freezer, chromatography
or pharmacy refrigerator, or ultralow freezer.
| I want to purchase (or relocate) a domestic refrigerator or freezer to store
non-reactive reagents or preserved biological specimens INSIDE A LAB ENVIRONMENT
with adequate separation-see definition- from storage of LIQUID FLAMMABLES.
|| The purchase of a domestic refrigerator or freezer may be approved for purchase
by EH&S on a case-by-case basis. Submit the purchase requisition for EH&S
review. I acknowledge, I understand and will follow all UCI safety procedures
as outlined in this procedure, if EH&S approves the purchase.
| I need a refrigerator or freezer to store flammable or reactive
|| Buy a flammable materials storage refrigerator or freezer.
5.2.1 Fires and explosions
can and do occur in either general-purpose laboratory or ordinary domestic
refrigerators or freezers when these types of appliances are used to
store volatile or flammable materials. The safety hazard is best described
as follows. Domestic or general-purpose laboratory refrigerators and
freezers can contain up to nine arcing points in the storage compartment.
Each produces electrical arcs or sparks during the normal course of
operations. The arc produced at the arc points will ignite flammable
vapors emitted from damaged or unsealed containers. In addition, the
compressor and its circuits are typically located at the bottom of
the domestic unit where vapors from flammable liquid spills or leaks
in the storage compartment may easily accumulate. The compressor unit
for domestic units is not vapor-proof; therefore, arc points inside
the compressor pose the identical hazard as described above. In contrast,
all commercial laboratory refrigerators and freezers are equipped with
fully vapor sealed or semi-sealed compressors.
5.3 Purchasing Procedure
5.3.1 University funds, regardless of source, may
not be used to purchase personal use refrigerators/freezers. Personal
use refrigerators/freezers must be purchased with employee personal
contributions only. "Energy Star" rated equipment must be purchased.
5.3.2 For the purpose of this procedure, a laboratory setting is defined
as a room where flammable or reactive chemicals are used or hazardous
materials are stored.
Domestic refrigerators or freezers are approved for food
storage within the “designated clean area” in the lab environment.
A “clean area” sign must be affixed to the front door of the refrigerator
or freezer in addition to the designated clean area.
or freezers may be approved on a case-by-case basis and requires prior
approval from EH&S before the purchase
order is placed with the vendor. If such an approval is granted, all
flammable liquids will not be used or stored within 8 feet of the unit,
because, the compressor is not vapor-proof and poses a potential safety
General-purpose lab refrigerators or freezers, chromatography
or pharmacy refrigerators and ultralow freezers are approved for the
storage of nonvolatile reagents and nonvolatile biological specimens.
Flammable materials storage refrigerators and freezers
are approved for the storage of flammable or reactive reagents.
This procedure also applies to departments loaning, renting
or receiving gifts of this type of equipment from outside sources and
all incoming P.I.'s who transfer their own equipment to UC Irvine.
Document Initiator: Jim Pack