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The Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is located on approximately 200 acres of land leased by the Department of Energy (DOE) from the University of California. It is located in the Berkeley Hills next to the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. The site is situated within the limits of the cities of Berkeley and Oakland. There are over 140 buildings and related structures on the site.
New Laboratory buildings are designed and constructed per the California Building Code, California Fire Code, California Mechanical Code, California Plumbing Code, and California Electric Code. In addition, DOE's Fire Protection Orders, the National Fire Codes published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the Factory Mutual (FM) Loss Prevention Data Sheets are used as guidelines for the construction and operation of these buildings. These guidance documents not only enhance the life safety aspects of the buildings, but also minimize the risk of property losses and business interruption as a result of fire and other related perils.
When modifications are made to any of the Berkeley Lab buildings, they are upgraded to meet the same requirements of the aforementioned codes and standards.
Automatic fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems have been provided in site buildings consistent with DOE requirements and applicable codes. These fire alarm systems warn building occupants automatically as well as summon the Fire Department in the event of a fire. Following the aforementioned codes and standards, additional suppression systems have been provided where warranted by the hazard. These suppression systems include dry chemical, wet chemical, Halon 1301, high-expansion foam, deluge, or aqueous-film-forming foam. Upon actuation of any fire suppression or detection system, a signal is sent using the sitewide fire alarm system to Berkeley Lab’s constantly attended emergency dispatch center. This center dispatches four firefighters from the Lab’s continuously staffed Fire Station located at Building 48. Each building is also equipped with fire extinguishers. Depending on the type of hazards, appropriate types of fire extinguishers with an adequate extinguishing rating are placed in strategic locations to be used by occupants who have been trained.
A proprietary fire alarm system monitors all manual pull stations, smoke detectors, heat detectors, sprinkler water-flow switches, control valve tamper switches, and other fixed fire-suppression systems. All alarms are transmitted to the Berkeley Lab Fire Dispatch Center utilizing two independent transmission paths. Local alarm panels and notification devices are provided with secondary power and remain functional upon loss of power. The Lab’s fire alarm system supervises over 1600 zones, assisting responding firefighters in locating the fire.
All buildings are equipped with public address systems. In an emergency, the Fire Watch Office, Berkeley Lab Fire Dispatch Center, the Laboratory Director's Office, and the Security Office can broadcast evacuation instructions via the Hillwide Public Address System.
The Lab’s proprietary fire alarm system is being monitored by the Alameda County Regional Emergency Communications Center (ACRECC) located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), serving as Berkeley Lab’s Dispatch Center. The center monitors fire alarm signals and handles all emergency dispatch functions for the Berkeley Lab Fire Department. Transmission of fire alarm signals is via microwave as primary carrier, and telephone line as backup. The fire dispatch function provided by ACRECC can be switched back to the Berkeley Lab Fire Station (Building 48) Watch Office during a catastrophic event where communications are seriously disrupted, such as a major earthquake in the region. This Watch Office served as the Fire Dispatch Center prior to 1998.
The Berkeley Lab Fire Station is staffed 24 hours a day with a minimum of four firefighters under a subcontract with the Alameda County Fire Department. The fire station has two pumper engines (one rated 1,250 gallons per minute, and one rated 1,000 gallons per minute), a brush patrol unit, and a hazardous material vehicle. The typical response time is four minutes. Additional assistance is available following an Automatic Aid Agreement with the City of Berkeley, and a Mutual Aid Agreement with the County of Alameda. The first-alarm response for a structural fire consists of one engine (Lab Fire Station), a Berkeley ladder truck, and a Battalion Chief from San Leandro. Additional apparatus and firefighters are available from the City of Berkeley Fire Department (BFD) and the City of Oakland Fire Department (OFD), following the predetermined automatic and mutual aid programs.
The water supply and distribution systems at Berkeley Lab provide for both domestic and fire protection usage. There are two inlets from two separate East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) reservoirs supplying to a gridded system. The primary source is a 12-inch diameter line from the Shasta Reservoir (2,260,000-gallon capacity) located 1,150 feet above sea level. A second source of water is an 8-inch-diameter line from the Berkeley View Reservoir (3,040,000-gallon capacity) located 1,337 feet above sea level.
The underground mains throughout the facility consist of 6-, 8-, and 12-inch looped piping with sectional isolation valves installed at strategic locations for isolating potential system problems in the affected area without having to impair the entire system. Underground pipes consist of ductile iron and welded steel with cement lining. The system has recently undergone an upgrade replacing some older mains. Due to the 300-foot-plus elevation differences, the system pressures are usually maintained at 90 to 140 psig, depending on location.
There are fire hydrants strategically located throughout the site. Each hydrant has a 4-1/2" steamer and two 2-1/2" valved connections.
In order to provide a very reliable water supply during emergency conditions, three 200,000-gallon-capacity storage tanks were installed remotely from each other on the site.
A diesel-engine-driven water pump has been provided next to two of the three tanks. Pump 1, located in Bldg. 68, is rated at 1,500 gpm at 84 psig. Pump 2, located at Bldg. 82, is rated at 1,500 gpm at 142 psig. If the water lines from EBMUD to Berkeley Lab are damaged, the 600,000 gallons and the two diesel pumps on site will maintain water supply and water pressure to each building. Each pump will start automatically when there is a drop in water pressure in the distribution system. The starting of the pump will be announced via the sitewide fire alarm system at the Watch Office (Building 48) and the Berkeley Lab Fire Dispatch Center (located at LLNL).
Berkeley Lab is currently active in managing vegetative growth and reducing potential fire hazards of the urban-wildland interface through its Vegetation Management Program. Through this program, the risk of a major fire and its loss potential are substantially reduced.
When compliance cannot be achieved with the required DOE fire safety standards, or with mandatory codes and standards relating to fire and life safety issues, an exemption request (temporary or permanent as applicable) shall be submitted to the DOE. The exemption shall be processed in accordance with DOE 420.1 and include the following information as a minimum:
The processing of this exemption must also follow the requirements described in Chapter 1, Section 1.8 (Requesting a Variance from Berkeley Lab Safety Policy) of Berkeley Lab’s EH&S Health and Safety Manual (PUB-3000). Any exemption request must be submitted through the DOE-BSO (Berkeley Site Office) and DOE–Oak Ridge, and finally to the Office of Science for approval.
A currently active fire protection “exemption” applies to the arrangement of the Advanced Light Source, which addressed the lack of rated separation through the use of a Highly Sensitive Smoke Detection system that was approved in March of 1990. While this was called an exemption at the time, it more correctly meets the definition of an equivalency today.
When compliance cannot be achieved with the required DOE Orders or mandatory codes and standards, and an alternate method of compliance is needed or desired, the equivalency concept shall include the following information as a minimum and be processed in accordance with the criteria outlined below:
A currently active fire protection equivalency approved for Berkeley Lab is the exiting arrangement for the following:
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Fire protection findings from internal and external surveys, appraisals, and audits shall be prioritized. To assist management in the budgeting process, and to ensure that higher-risk items receive priority funding, each finding shall be prioritized based on the potential risk. The following prioritization
Priority A: A deficiency that presents an imminent threat to personnel safety or the environment, and warrants immediate compensatory action and/or correction. Priority A issues shall be conveyed to Berkeley Lab management upon discovery for immediate action.
Priority B: A deficiency that presents a threat to personnel safety or the environment, or unacceptable risk to property and the DOE mission. Priority B issues shall also be conveyed to Berkeley Lab management so that a corrective action plan and schedule can be developed. However, immediate compensatory measures may not be required.
Priority C: A deficiency that presents little credible threat to personnel safety or the environment, but if corrected, would reduce the risk to the Laboratory's property and improve the effective implementation of the fire protection program.
The following documents are the baseline criteria of the Berkeley Lab Fire Protection Program and are copied directly from PUB-3000, Chapter 12 (Fire Prevention and Protection), Sections 12.22 and 12.24. The program shall be administered by the Fire Marshal.
To develop a more consistent approach and cost-effective solutions to fire protection issues commonly encountered at Berkeley Lab, Fire Protection Engineering will assist the Facilities Division’s Architecture/Engineering (A/E) staff in developing standard details and specifications for use in projects. Fire Protection Engineering also provides and maintains a collection of code interpretations pertaining to work at Berkeley Lab.
Fire Protection Engineers (FPEs) are available to consult with anyone who has questions on fire protection, life safety, and risk management. FPEs frequently work with the Facilities Planner on the feasibility study and siting of a new facility. FPEs assist the architects and engineers in determining the fire protection scope of work and property protection criteria so that adequate funding is requested in the Conceptual Design Reports. Large projects require pre-planning to assure that FPEs can be scheduled and that funding is available.
FPEs will consult with researchers to identify and mitigate potential hazards resulted from their experiments. The process can be done separately or as part of the Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS) review.
All work related to buildings and their infrastructures must be reviewed and approved by the Fire Marshal. Whether the work is prepared by the in-house Facilities Architects/Engineers Group or by outside Architects/Engineers, the design package, including drawings and specifications at various stages, must be submitted to the Fire Marshal for review and approval. The process is shown in Figure 1 below. Upon FPE review, a written review comment sheet (Appendix A1) along with marked-up drawings and documents with the Fire Marshal’s Review Stamp (Figure 2) showing the review status will be returned to the Project Manager of the Facilities A/E Group for action. Upon completion of the design at Title II - Detail Engineering, the Fire Marshal, chiefs from all design disciplines, project manager, client, and, Head of Facilities’ A/E Group are required to sign off on the Project Plan Review sheet (Appendix A2).
During project construction, commonly referred to as Title III, the Fire Marshal inspects the project periodically for the method and materials of construction of the building as related to fire and life safety and fire detection and suppression systems. The Fire Marshal generates a Construction Punch List and submits it to the Facilities Project Manager (PM) for action. Upon construction completion, the Fire Marshal witnesses the testing and commissioning of the relevant building systems and fire protection systems. Any deficiencies found during the test are identified to the PM in writing. Upon completion and verification of all deficiencies, the Fire Marshal will then sign off on the Project Title III Completion approval form (Appendix A3).
As part of the planning process, principal investigators (PIs), managers, and supervisors are required by their Divisional Integrated Safety Management (ISM) Plan to consider what EH&S hazards, risks, and concerns are present, and to implement appropriate controls as outlined in PUB-3000. Chapter 6 (Safe Work Authorizations) of PUB-3000 outlines the procedures and requirements that the PI, supervisor, or manager must follow to document the work and associated hazards, describe administrative and engineering controls, and document training or certification for the participants. The various processes assure that the Fire Marshal is brought into the process for review or approval.
Work carried out on the UC Berkeley campus in spaces under the control of UC Berkeley will be carried out in accordance with the MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN UCB AND LBNL CONCERNING ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH, AND SAFETY POLICY AND PROCEDURES, dated 3/15/2004. This document delineates responsibility and authority for enforcement of safety requirements for work carried out in campus space. The document can be found in Appendix G of LBNL/PUB- 3140 (rev 5), the Integrated Environment, Health & Safety Management Plan, at http://www.lbl.gov/ehs/ism/ucb_lbl_partnership_3_15_04.pdf.
Prior to the shutdown of a fire protection system or underground water supply, the Fire Dispatcher is notified, and the shutdown is recorded on the impairment log. The Fire Marshal or the FPE will be consulted on compensatory measures.
If a fire protection system or water supply has failed or is damaged, the Fire Dispatcher will be notified. The Fire Marshal, FPE, or maintenance manager will be consulted on compensatory measures and/or a repair schedule.
All fire detection and suppression systems are tested, inspected, and maintained as per the requirements of the applicable NFPA standards unless the local or State of California statutory requirements are more stringent. The more stringent requirements will be enforced. An example of this would be the inspection and testing of the portable fire extinguishers, carried out per the California
Berkeley Lab's Maintenance and Operations Group (M&O) in the Facilities Division is responsible for inspection, testing, and maintenance of all fire detection and suppression systems, including the following:
Items excluded from M&O's scope are:
Electricians – Fire Alarm Specialists are part of the Facilities Division’s Operations Department. The specialists perform inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) of the fire alarm systems, as required by the applicable National Fire Alarm Code. Each Electrician – Fire Alarm Specialist is required to be certified by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technology (NICET) as NICET Level II in fire alarm systems.
Maintenance is carried out based on the Maximo® database developed and maintained by the Facilities Division. If a defect or malfunction is found, it will receive highest priority in the repair and replacement unless approval from the Fire Marshal or FPE has been obtained.
A database was developed as a planning tool for the Fire Marshal to collect and manage facility fire-protection and life-safety deficiencies at Berkeley Lab. This is independent of the LBNL Self-Assessment Database managed by the Office of Institutional Assurance (OIA).
When the maximum probable fire loss (MPFL) exceeds $50 million, a redundant fire protection system should be provided that will limit the loss to acceptable levels, despite the failure of the primary fire protection system, as determined by the Laboratory Management or DOE Program Senior Official.
When the MPFL exceeds $150 million, a redundant fire protection system and a 3-hour fire barrier should be provided to limit the MPFL to acceptable levels, as determined by the Laboratory Management or DOE Program Senior Official.
When a potential fire would represent an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of the public, workers, the environment, DOE program, or DOE property, fire protection should be provided commensurate with the risk.
Berkeley Lab's Health and Safety Manual, PUB-3000, Chapter 12 (Fire Protection and Prevention) highlights the Laboratory's basic fire safety practices and procedures. The Chapter is updated periodically and is available electronically on the Berkeley Lab Web Site at http://www.lbl.gov/ehs/pub3000/.
DOE Order 231.1, Environment, Safety and Health Reporting, requires Berkeley Lab to submit the Annual Summary of Fire Damage in accordance with DOE M 231.1-1, Chapter II, paragraph 3. The reporting format should be similar to DOE Manual 231.1-1. The Annual Summary of Fire Protection Program for each calendar year, which includes the Summary of Fire Damage, will be submitted to the DOE Berkeley Site Office as required.
In the event of a fire or explosion, DOE Order 231.1, Environment, Safety and Health Reporting, requires Berkeley Lab to make appropriate notifications, perform analyses, and report specific occurrences, incidents, and accidents in accordance with DOE M 231.1-1, Environment, Safety and Health Reporting Manual.
The Berkeley Lab Fire Protection Program maintains files on all incidents involving their organization. These files are located in the Fire Station at Bldg. 48.
All reports of fire incidents are prepared in accordance with the California State Fire Marshal's reporting requirements and format commonly known as California Fire Incidents Reporting System (CFIRS).
An occurrence report must be submitted to DOE within the time constraints prescribed in DOE Order 232.1A, Occurrence Reporting and Processing. Berkeley Lab's Occurrence Reporting and Processing Manual, LBID-1694, Rev. 3, provides reporting requirements and procedures if property damage and injuries exceed the following thresholds:
Facility operation procedures, technical specifications, or activity hazard documents (AHDs) shall address the fire protection features of the facility required for safe operation and to mitigate potential fire hazards/damages. When a facility's fire protection feature is out of service or damaged, compensatory measures shall be implemented until the system or equipment is restored to service. The operating procedures shall be specifically defined to ensure the compensatory measures to be implemented consistent with the significance of the impairment. The Fire Marshal or FPE will review and approve any fire protection system impairment, and prescribe compensatory measures as required. Any approved system impairment will be communicated to the Berkeley Lab Fire Department to be included in the system impairment log.
All safety analysis reports (SARs) and safety analysis documents (SADs) shall include a Fire Hazard Analysis (FHA) that addresses, at a minimum, the items listed in Section 4.3, Fire Hazard Analysis, below. The SAR/SAD shall also identify the fire protection features required for safe operation and to mitigate potential fire hazards and damages, as well as the compensatory measures required if a system is impaired or damaged.
Following DOE Order 420.1B, FHAs must be prepared for Hazard Category 1, 2, and 3 nuclear facilities (there are none at LBNL), significant new facilities, and facilities that represent unique fire safety risks. FHAs must be performed under the direction of a qualified fire protection engineer, reviewed at a minimum of every 3 years, and revised when changes to the facility mission, or changes involving operations, hazards, structures, etc., impact the contents in the FHA; when modification to an associated facility or process adds a significant new fire safety risk; and when the 3-year review identifies the need for changes. Fire Protection Staff shall maintain a list showing all the facilities that are required to have an FHA. The FHA shall address the following items as a
Facility ventilation systems shall be protected against fire to preclude the release of radioactive, toxic, or other hazardous materials above established limits. Alternatives to consider for accomplishing this goal may include the following:
In addition, the Filter Plenum Fire Protection Criteria,DOE STD-1066-99, shall be used to assist in determining the level of protection needed.
It is essential that any liquid spill or firewater runoff be contained within the facility or the site. The California Fire Code, Articles 79 and 80, provide very specific requirements to contain hazardous materials, liquid spills, and contaminated firewater runoff. The Fire Marshal or FPE reviews the type and quantities of hazardous materials that are being stored or handled in each
If there is a spill, the Berkeley Lab Fire Department, with the assistance of other support staff (i.e., Industrial Hygienists, Waste Management Representative, Maintenance and Operations Representative), will respond to the hazardous material incident. The response will be in accordance with the Berkeley Lab Hazardous Materials Response Plan, EH&S Procedure 3.01.
In an effort to eliminate Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS), all LBNL halon fixed-fire suppression systems must be phased out of service following applicable DOE memorandums and Executive Orders. The latest Executive Order, 13423, provides guidance that states that LBNL must “maximize the use of safe alternatives to ODSs, as approved by the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program.” The guidance provided with the order goes on to state that, “plans to replace ODSs should target cost effective reduction of environmental risk by eliminating the use of ODSs in new equipment and facilities and by phasing out ODS applications as the existing equipment using those substances reaches its expected service life. In developing ODS-related actions, agencies shall consider (1) maintaining equipment to prevent or fix leaks and (2) replacing leaking equipment when repair is no longer cost-effective or where it is life-cycle cost-effective to replace the equipment.” Consistent with this policy, LBNL has removed numerous systems and thousands of pounds of halon over the past 10 years. Five systems have been retained because they are essential to the Laboratory’s mission; these systems are located in 2 computer rooms (1275 and 1156) in Building 50; in 2 telephone nodes (Building 10A and Building 62A); and in the control-room floor of Building 88. LBNL has identified two alternative configurations for each of these systems: The first alternative is to provide a SNAP-approved clean agent suppression system to replace the existing halon system; the second alternative is to provide a redundant fire protection system by simply removing the halon system and relying on the smoke detection and fire sprinkler systems in conjunction with LBNL’s on-site, continuously staffed fire station (refer to DOE Standard 1066-99, Fire Protection Design Criteria). Beginning in fiscal year 2010 and continuing every year thereafter, LBNL will consider the phase out of these halon systems subject to the availability of funds and the importance of the affected operations.
DOE Order 420.1 requires sites to have a self-survey appraisal program in place to ensure that their facilities meet DOE fire protection goals and requirements. Following DOE G 420.1-3 (9-27-07), Section 4.13 (3) Fire Protection facility appraisals shall be performed every year for facilities valued in excess of $100 million, considered a high hazard, or involving vital programs as defined by DOE. Currently at LBNL, only one building, Building 6, is considered as being qualified for an annual assessment. All remaining LBNL facilities will be assessed at least every three years.
The appraisal report shall address the following items at a minimum, and appraisal findings shall be placed on the tracking system with the expected completion date until resolved:
Based on the above criteria, the Self-Conducted Fire Protection Survey Procedure (Appendix C) was developed.
DOE Order 420.1, Section 220.127.116.11, requires Berkeley Lab to have a comprehensive, documented fire protection self-assessment program that includes all aspects (both program and facility) of the fire protection program. Assessments shall be performed on a regular basis at a frequency established by DOE. Berkeley Lab will conduct a self-appraisal of the Fire Protection Program once every three years.
The triennial appraisal of the Berkeley Lab Fire Protection Program shall be conducted by the Lab's Office of Institutional Assurance (OIA). The appraisal shall evaluate the following at a minimum:
The Fire Suppression Contractor, Alameda County Fire Department (ACFD), maintains standard operating procedures for fire suppression and related activities. Those procedures are available upon request from Alameda County and were reviewed as a part of the Baseline Needs Assessment conducted by the Department of Energy. This is documented in the May-2005 revision of the assessment, which concluded that ACFD had “a thorough training program that has resulted in very capable staff.”
A reciprocating automatic aid agreement was established between the Berkeley Lab Fire Department and the City of Berkeley Fire Department (COBFD). The Berkeley Lab Fire Department has been assigned areas in the City of Berkeley outside the boundaries of the Lab to respond to. These areas are contiguous to the Lab, and they were based on the fact that the Berkeley Lab Fire Department is geographically closer than other City of Berkeley fire units, and able to respond to the emergency in a more expedient manner. On the other hand, the COBFD will respond to the Lab and provide assistance when summoned by the Berkeley Lab Fire Dispatch. This agreement covers all types of emergency calls, whether they are structure fires, medical emergencies, car fires, wildland, etc. There is an extensive training component to the automatic-aid agreement that provides for both departments to participate in mutual training.
The Berkeley Lab Fire Department participates as a unit with all fire departments within Alameda County. There are two types of county aid calls. One is for calls within the county. The other is for strike teams made up of county units to respond together to assist nearby counties.
The Berkeley Lab Fire Department participates as a contributing agency for calls for assistance statewide. This is the only mutual-aid arrangement that has a reimbursement component. The State of California reimburses Berkeley Lab for their personnel after the first 24 hours of operations. Examples of these are wildland fires, or disasters resulting from earthquakes or floods that require major search-and-rescue efforts that may last for days and weeks.
Each member of an engine company participates in the Engine Company Inspection Program. The purpose of the Engine Company Inspection Program is to focus on conditions that may endanger the safety of life and property, and to eliminate or provide proper controls over such conditions. Building inspections are assigned to each Shift Officer (either the Captain or the Acting Captain) at the beginning of each calendar year. The assigned inspections are divided into three increments (Schedules A, B, and C). These schedules are assigned to each Shift Officer at the beginning of each calendar year. Thus, Shift A will be assigned to Schedule A the first year, B the second, C the third, and return to A on the fourth year.
Each Shift Officer is responsible for managing and coordinating the scheduling and supervision of the inspection activities for that shift. The Shift Officer is responsible for completing their assigned inspections by the end of each calendar year.
The Baseline Needs Assessment was performed during the week of March 21–25, 2005, and addressed the following aspects:
The Baseline Needs Assessment (BNA) published May 25, 2005, concluded that ACFD had a thorough training program, very capable staff, well-equipped response to emergencies, staffing levels as recommended in the 1995 BNA, additional resources available through established mutual-aid agreements, and a progressive approach that looked for means to improve its operations.
The BNA further concluded that planned improvements for the fire-alarm communications system were forward-thinking, and urged DOE and LBNL line management to support these projects; that the fire protection program at LBNL continued to be well-established and effective; and that the Alameda County Regional Emergency Communications Center located at LLNL was an effective and reliable method of using emergency-response resources.
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