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December 6, 2007

University of Miami Environmental Health & Safety News

In This Issue

1. About us
2. Fire Safety Tips
3. Decorating "Dos and Don'ts"
4. No Smoking Policy
5. MSDS Online

Meet our Staff

Ken Capezzuto

Christine Daley
Fire Safety

Raul Garcia-Casariego
Industrial Hygiene

Vaughan Munro
Hazardous Materials

Brian Reding
Hazardous Materials

Ramon Molina
Hazardous Materials

Sandra Chen-Walta
Employee Health

Desiree Bhoorasingh
Employee Health

Maria Velarde

Jairo Betancourt
Laboratory Safety

Iridel Bryan
Laboratory Safety

Ishwar Balliram
Office Manager

Fire Safety Video

If you have problems viewing the video, please click the following link:

Fire Safety Video

About Us

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety's mission is to help the University continuously improve its compliance with safety and environmental regulation.

We provide support and training in an effort to avoid occupational, biological, and chemical hazards.

For this edition of our newsletter, we turn the spotlight on our Fire Safety division.


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Fire Safety Tips

Fire, since its discovery has been both a friend and a foe.  In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire.  It can destroy everything in its path including people.  Knowing what to do in the event of a fire can mean the difference between life and death.

  • If the fire alarm is activated it means to evacuate the building immediately.  Never assume it is a drill.  If you ignore a fire alarm, you could end up trapped inside a burning building.
  • Never use the elevator to get out of a burning building - always use the stairs.  You could become trapped and some elevators stop working in the event of a fire.
  • Remember RACE: 
  • R - Rescue anyone in immediate danger
  • A - Alert others by activating the building fire alarm and call for help.
  • C - Contain the fire by closing the doors to the affected area.
  • E - Extinguish the fire using the proper fire extinguisher if you have been trained in its use and the fire is small and contained. Otherwise, evacuate immediately.
  • Always know at least two ways out of a building.
  • If you or your clothes catch on fire STOP, DROP and ROLL.

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Decorating "Dos and Don'ts"

As the holidays approach, here are some decorating "dos and don’ts":

  • Do use UL listed decorative lights and non-combustible or fire resistant decorations and ornaments.
  • Do use artificial holiday trees that are fire-resistant, and place them out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
  • Do unplug all holiday lights when you leave the office for the day.
  • Do not hang decorations, ornaments, lights, or use decorative sprays on any fire protection equipment such as fire extinguishers, sprinkler heads, smoke detectors, and fire alarm pull boxes.
  • Do not hang decorative materials (lights, ornaments etc.) on or near exits, on or near emergency lights, or in any manner that could present a fall or trip hazard, or impede egress.
  • Do not bring or burn candles, incense, or any other related accessories.
  • Do remove all decorations, displays, lights, and ornaments after the holiday event or prior to the University’s annual holiday closure.

Help keep the University a safe place to work. 

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No Smoking Policy

Please remember that under Florida’s 1994 Clean Indoor Air Act, NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code (Florida 2005 Ed.), as well as the University’s No Smoking Policy, smoking is prohibited inside any University owned or operated facility, including fire exits access, fire exits, and the fire exits discharge areas.

  • For further information, please refer to our Human Resources link:


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MSDS Online

Want to know more about a hazardous chemical and how to avoid exposure? Material safety data sheets (MSDS) for specific chemicals are now available to UM students, faculty and staff. Simply go to our website
and click on the MSDS link located at the bottom of the page.

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University of Miami
Environmental Health & Safety
Dominion Tower #405,
1400 NW 10th Ave.
Miami, FL 33136
Phone: 305-243-3400

Christine Daley

Editor and Design
Ishwar Balliram

U Safe is a quarterly electronic newsletter published by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety at the University of Miami.
The University of Miami is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University.

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