Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Determining MAQs is complex and relies on several structural and operational factors.
The most common factors that determine MAQs at UCI are:
► Which floor your lab is located (see Fig. 1 below)
► Whether a fire sprinkler system is installed throughout the building
► Use of approved storage cabinets
As emergency response and egress become increasingly difficult with building height, the quantity of hazardous materials that can be safely used and stored decreases. For example, the MAQs on floors 9th and above are 5% of those allowed on the 1st floor.
On the other hand, if the entire building is equipped with a sprinkler system or approved storage cabinets, the MAQ may be increased if all fire code requirements are met.
MAQs are set by the Fire Code to keep building occupants and first responders safe. Exceeding MAQs puts everyone at risk and is considered a serious offense. If your control area exceeds the MAQ, EHS will contact you with recommended corrective actions.
Examples of corrective actions include decreasing the quantities of hazardous materials you store and using approved storage cabinets.
CiBR-Trac: The banded SOP report organizes all of the chemicals in the lab into the different hazard categories. (Note: it takes a few hours for the system to update after chemicals are added to the inventory.)
1. Click the Banded SOPs tab on the inventory homepage.
2. Banded SOP Report.
CBIS (ChemInnovations): CBIS does not provide that information to users. Please use CiBR-Trac to obtain that information.
UC Chemicals: Searching your chemical inventory by hazard class will provide a list of chemicals that fall into that hazard.
1. Search your UC Chemicals inventory for the hazard category of interest.
2. Select Advanced Search
3. Select the “Classification” dropdown menu
4. Once the classification is selected the search will automatically update.
Strategies to reduce the chemicals you store include:
- Purchase smaller quantities of chemicals (e.g. 1 L rather than 4 L)
- Do not purchase duplicate chemicals or cases
- Share chemicals where possible
- Maintain an accurate inventory
- Update your online inventory every time a chemical is purchased or discarded
- Reconcile your inventory at least annually
- Dispose of any expired or unneeded chemicals and update your inventory
- Consolidate chemicals since each bottle counts as if it were full
MAQs are largely determined by building construction. Building construction (e.g. installing fire sprinklers and fire rated walls) can increase the limit; however it can be very costly.
MAQs can also be increased by storing all chemicals in approved storage cabinets (e.g. flammable storage cabinets, gas cabinets). Due to their complexity, MAQ increases must be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
It is a major safety issue if a MAQ is exceeded and unable to be resolved. The issue will be escalated to Campus leadership and enforcement will be determined on a case by case basis.
MAQs have always been enforced at UCI. However, this process is lengthy, expensive, and each individual control area needs to be evaluated.
UCI is in the process of implementing a new chemical inventory software (UC Chemicals) that allows facile and quick reports of MAQ compliance in real time.
As the campus grows, new PIs are added, and current PIs move into renovated spaces as MAQ issues are identified and evaluated.