Environmental Health and Safety

News & Announcements

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STERNOS are prohibited by the Office of the State Fire Marshall

The use of STERNOS is prohibited on campus unless the criterion listed below is met. Electric Chaffers are an approved means to heat food. Vendors must supply their own chaffers, surge protectors with the appropriate length of cord, and cord covers. Food service setup must not create tripping hazards. Please note the department of Environmental Health & Safety will review all requests for a Special Event Permit and submit applications, when warranted, on behalf of the University to the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Submission of a permit does not guarantee approval. Associated costs for the OSFM review (regardless of approval status), and possible field verification will be billed to the requesting department. The estimated minimum cost for the Fire Marshal to review a permit request is $240.

The SFM will consider the use of STERNOS, with the submittal of a Special Event Permit Application (for each date of use) if the following provisions are met:

  1. Use of any solid fuel food heating devices (STERNO) shall be only provisionally allowed in fully fire sprinkler and fire alarm protected structures.
  2. The area of use shall not be accessible or open to the general public.
  3. All chaffing dishes using solid fuel cans must have a cage or guard protection around the flame device to ensure no combustible objects can accidentally come into contact with the open flame.
    1. As per 19 CCR § 3.17. Guards for Heating Appliances. Every heating appliance in any occupancy governed by these regulations which does not have protective features incorporated in its design, shall be provided with guards that will provide protection against ignition of clothing and other combustible material.
  4. All tables shall be of metal/non-combustible construction with no table coverings.
  5. Each group of tables shall have a portable fire extinguisher within immediate access and all food service staff shall be trained in the use of fire extinguishers.
  6. New solid fuel (STERNO) fuel cans shall be stored in a safe/secured area approved by the DSFM.
  7. Used fuel (STERNO) cans shall be immediately removed and placed outside in a metal storage bin to cool and remain contained. The location of the storage bins shall be approved by the DSFM.
  8. At the conclusion of each day, the spent fuel cans shall be properly disposed of to ensure no fire risk.


Did you know that Hazardous Materials Manager Kenny Wahl was recently designated as the campus Laser Safety Officer? This appointment was done as part of the new campus laser safety program. EHS, in collaboration with the Department of Physics, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, developed and implemented a Laser Safety Program(opens in new window) that complies with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Cal-OSHA.


For your convenience, EHS combined several existing safety plans into one comprehensive Medical Monitoring Program. This change centralizes medical surveillance requirements for hazards related to asbestos, blood-borne pathogens, laboratory work, lead, noise, and respiratory protection. Please check out the new plan for the latest information on the Medical Monitoring Program following Cal/OSHA standards applicable to your work area.


Mystery container? Cal/OSHA requires all chemicals to be properly labeled. Missing or incomplete labels on products can pose serious risks to students and employees. Many old containers no longer meet the Cal/OSHA labeling requirements and need to be updated or disposed. To help keep up with current labeling standards, EHS has developed a quick reference guide (PDF). Please review chemical containers and ensure all products have current and complete labels.


Risk and Safety Solutions (RSS) provides a one-stop-shop for lab safety, occupational health, and risk management. RSS is a systemwide-sponsored software to identify hazards, inventory chemicals, and perform safety inspection for laboratories and other campus spaces. Implementation of four modules: Assess, Chemicals, Analytics, and Inspect, is well underway, with full implementation expected by 2021. 


EHS would like to remind the campus community that first aid kits for on-campus use may not contain any medicines, ointments, or creams. If your first aid kit contains these products, please bring them to the EHS office for appropriate disposal. These restrictions do not apply to the WellCat Health Center and athletic trainers.

State Procurement Policy (PDF)     |     CSE Procurement Policy (PDF)