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Emergency Response Guide

2019 GUIDE

Emergency: Any Kind - Any Time: Call x5000 or (626) 395-5000


  • The nature of the emergency
  • Your name
  • Phone number from which you are calling
  • Your location

Do not hang up until you are sure no further information is required, unless there is an immediate threat to your safety.

After notifying emergency personnel, notify building occupants. Wait for the arrival of emergency personnel in a safe location.


  • Environment, Health, and Safety
    6727 - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday
    5000 - 24 Hour Emergency On-Call
  • Security
    - Non-Emergency Assistance
    5000 - 24 Hour Emergency Dispatch
  • Facilities Management
    4717 -
    24 Hour Service Center

Go To:


How To Prepare


This Guide is intended to help you respond to emergency situations that may occur at any time and without warning. In times of emergency, the Institute will provide the appropriate response to assure life safety and minimize losses. However, emergency preparedness is everyone's responsibility. You should take the time now to read this Guide and familiarize yourself with your work area before an emergency occurs.


  • Read this Guide and keep it handy.
  • Be familiar with your building's floor plan, exit routes, and evacuation assembly point(s).
  • Know where emergency equipment is located including:
    • Fire Extinguishers
    • Safety Showers
    • Eyewashes
    • First Aid Kits
    • AED Units
  • Participate in emergency drills and training programs such as First Aid and CPR training
  • Prepare yourself and your family at home so family members know:
    • What to do
    • Where to go
    • How to cope in your absence
    • What out-of-state emergency contact to call
  • Keep personal contact information up to date in to receive Caltech Alerts


Emergency Phone Numbers and Locations

Principal Investigator or Supervisor


Safety Coordinator


Building Coordinator


Division Administrator


Evacuation Assembly Point



Fire / Evacuation


In the event of a fire on campus, building occupants should remain calm. In the case of a small fire, trained personnel may use a fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire. Evacuation routes should be maintained to allow for the immediate exit of all building occupants. Once in a safe location, Security should be notified, Call x5000 or (626) 395-5000. Following evacuation, occupants are not to re-enter the building until instructed to do so by Emergency Response Personnel.


Remain calm.

Alert people in the area and activate the nearest alarm pull box.

Close doors to confine the fire.

Evacuate to a safe area. Use stairs, do not use elevators.


Pull the pin

Aim the nozzle at the outside base of the fire

Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing media

Sweep extinguisher from side to side to smother the fire from the outside edge to the center


  • Know where the two nearest exits from your work area
  • Evacuate the building when:
    • The alarms are sounding
    • Instructed to do so by Emergency Response Personnel
    • There is imminent danger to life
  • Close all doors behind you
  • Leave quickly by the nearest safe exit, walk don't run


  • Proceed to the Evacuation Assembly Point
  • Provide pertinent information to Floor Wardens, Lab Safety Coordinators,  and/or the Building Coordinator
  • Remain with the evacuation group and await further instructions
  • Do not talk to the media. Media should be referred to Media Relations x3227
  • Do not re-enter the building until instructed to do so by Emergency Response Personnel


Personal Injury


For all injuries, CALL 5000 to obtain medical attention as necessary. Report the incident to your Supervisor or Principal Investigator immediately. Obtain First Aid and CPR training to be better prepared for emergency medical situations.



  • Clothing on Fire
    • Roll the person on the floor to smother the flame
  • Hazardous Material Exposure (Biological, Chemical, or Radiation)
    • Remove contaminated clothing
    • Flush contaminated area with running water for at least 15 minutes
    • Call x5000 to obtain immediate medical attention
  • Minor Cuts and Puncture Wounds
    • Take precautions to prevent disease transmission
    • Apply direct pressure to control bleeding
    • Apply bandages as necessary


For serious injuries, call x5000 to request paramedics.

For minor work related injuries, after calling x5000 and reporting the incident to your PI or Supervisor go to:

8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

St. George’s Medical Clinic
1750 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125
contact Security at x4701 for directions and transportation options

9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday - Sunday

EXER Urgent Care (formerly Pasadena Community Urgent Care)
3160 E. Del Mar Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91107
contact Security at x4701 for directions and transportation options

24 hours
Monday-Friday, weekends and holidays

Huntington Memorial Hospital
Emergency Room
711 S. Fairmount Ave.
Pasadena, California
contact Security at x4701 for directions and transportation options


  • Report all injuries as soon as possible to your Supervisor or Principal Investigator
  • Report Work-related injuries to the Disability and Leave Administration x4577 within 24 hours of the incident.


Radiation Incident

Medical attention takes precedence over radiological or other concerns in case of a serious injury. Inform medical personnel if there is a possibility of radioactive contamination.


Major Spill

(Personnel contamination or large areas affected)

  • Attend to injured or contaminated persons and remove them from the contaminated area.
  • Alert people to vacate the laboratory. Prevent others from entering the contaminated area.
  • Monitor personnel for contamination.
  • Remove contaminated clothing. If skin is contaminated, flush thoroughly with water and gently wash with a mild, nonabrasive soap. Do not scrub.
  • Confine movement of all potentially contaminated personnel to prevent further spread of contamination.
  • Notify the Environment, Health, and Safety Office (EHS) at x6727. If after working hours, call x5000 and ask for EHS assistance.
  • Notify the Principal Investigator.
  • Assist EHS personnel in evaluation and decontamination.

Minor Spill

(Contamination to small area and no personnel contamination)

  • Alert people in the area that a spill has occurred.
  • Monitor personnel and remove any contaminated clothing.
  • Limit access to the affected area.
  • Cover a liquid spill with absorbent paper or pads and place damp towels over spills of dry powder.
  • Call the Environment, Health, and Safety Office at x6727 if assistance is needed.
  • Wear protective clothing (safety glasses, disposable gloves, labcoat) during clean-up.
  • Use appropriate survey instruments.
  • Dispose of all contaminated material as radioactive waste.


Regardless of the size of the spill, take all reasonable precautions to limit the spread of radioactive contamination. Prevent spread by confining movement of people until they have been monitored and found free of contamination.

Radiation-producing Machines

  • TURN OFF MACHINE. If possible, de-energize circuit breaker.
  • Notify the Safety Office at x6727. If after office hours, call x5000 and ask for EHS assistance.
  • Notify the laboratory supervisor and/or the Principal Investigator.
  • Record all pertinent information about the incident including:
    • Operating voltage and current
    • Exposure time
    • Distance from the radiation source


Chemical / Biological Incident

Chemical or Biological spill clean up should only be performed by trained and experienced personnel. Spill clean-up material and personal protective equipment should be located in each laboratory.



Major Spill

  • Attend to any injured or contaminated people. Alert others in the lab about the spill.
  • Flush any skin or eye contamination with water for at least 15 minutes.
  • During office hours, contact the Environment, Health, and Safety Office (EHS) at x6727. All other times, call x5000 and request EHS assistance.
  • Notify the Principal Investigator.
  • Confine the spill area and limit access.
  • If flammable material is involved, turn off all sources of ignition.
  • If life safety is threatened, follow the evacuation procedure.
  • Provide information to Emergency Response Personnel.

Minor Spill

  • Alert people in the area that a spill has occurred.
  • Limit access to the affected area.
  • Wear protective clothing (safety glasses, disposable gloves, labcoat) during clean-up.
  • Absorb the spill with the appropriate material.
  • Dispose of all contaminated material as hazardous waste.
  • Call the Environment, Health, and Safety Office x6727 if assistance is needed.


  • Isolate the spill area for at least 30 minutes to allow for any bioaerosols to settle.
  • Alert people in the immediate area of the spill.
  • Wear protective clothing (safety glasses, disposable gloves, labcoat) during clean up.
  • Cover the spill with paper towels or other absorbent material.
  • Pour a freshly prepared solution of 1:10 dilution of household bleach to water on the spill. Be careful to avoid any splashing.
  • Allow a 20 minute contact period with the bleach solution.
  • Use paper towels to clean up the spill, working from the edge to the center.
  • Dispose of all contaminated material in a red biohazardous waste container for pick-up by EHS.


Utility Failure


  • Secure any critical operations
  • Close fumehood sashes
  • Close all doors
  • Follow the evacuation procedure


  • Report all natural gas odors to the Facilities Management Service Center at x4717.
  • Turn off all potential sources of ignition
  • Provide pertinent information to Emergency Response Personnel


  • Report any flooding to Facilities Management at x4717
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment
  • Provide pertinent information to Emergency Response Personnel


  • If in an elevator when it breaks down, use the elevator telephone or alarm button to summon assistance
  • If an elevator stops during a power failure, remain calm. Facilities Management personnel check all elevators for stranded riders
  • Do not attempt to pry open the elevator doors or use the overhead hatch
  • Report all elevator problems to Facilities Management at x4717


  • If no dial tone on campus phones, try fax or modem lines. If modem or fax lines work, restrict use to essential calls only. Report all telephone system failures to Telecommunications at x5995




  • Avoid storing heavy objects on high shelves
  • Secure bookcases, cabinets, and equipment to the floor or wall
  • Anchor desktop equipment, including computers, with nylon straps or Velcro
  • Install restraints on laboratory shelves storing chemicals 
  • Store and secure gas cylinders in properly designed racks
  • Be familiar with emergency plans and procedures



  • Stay inside
  • Remain calm
  • Duck, cover, and hold
    • Take cover under a table or desk and hold on
  • Stay away from windows, overhead fixtures, tall objects, and electrical equipment
  • In a classroom or auditorium, stay where you are and protect yourself by getting under cover or covering your head with your arms
  • In a chemical laboratory, be prepared for falling chemical containers. You may need to move quickly from the laboratory into the hallway


  • Move to an open area away from buildings, trees, utility wires, and overhead structures
  • If driving, pull over to the nearest open area and stop. Stay in the vehicle until the shaking stops


  • Be prepared for aftershocks. Move cautiously. Avoid injury from broken glass or debris
  • Check for injured people. Administer first aid if necessary. Do not move seriously injured individuals unless absolutely necessary (fire, imminent building collapse)
  • Report all injuries to Emergency Response Personnel
  • Avoid Using:
    • Matches and lighters
    • Elevators
    • Telephones
  • After shaking stops, follow evacuation procedures


Psychological Crisis



Student Counseling Center (SCC) x8331

Faculty and Staff

Staff and Faculty Consultation Center (SFCC) x8360

Violent Person or Threat of Violence

Security x5000






Threatening Behavior

A person exhibits high level of irritability, including unruly, aggressive or violent behavior,


There is a threat to harm another person or property


  • Remain calm.
  • Explain clearly what behavior is acceptable and set limits
  • Get necessary help. Call x5000

Non-threatening Behavior

A person makes overtly suicidal comments (e.g. referring to suicide as a current option)


A person is experiencing impaired or garbled speech, disjointed thought, bizarre or strange behavior that is obviously inappropriate to the situation (e.g. talking to "invisible" people)


The person does not appear to be a threat.

  • Take the person away from distractions and speak with him/her in private
  • Have a plan in place before speaking with the person in a calm voice
  • Listen with warmth, concern, and a desire to understand the person's point of view
  • Respond with understanding and reason
  • Be firm and clear in your communications
  • Share your concern and belief that he or she needs help
  • Tell the person you would like assistance in helping them by calling SFCC x8360 or SCC x8331

What to avoid

  • Threatening, daring, taunting, pushing, or touching the person
  • Arguing or challenging the rationality of the person's thinking
  • Colluding with his or her fantasy, delusion, or hallucination
  • Dominating, pressuring, or making demands of the person