December 13th, 2007

gfp mouse

smells like burning

I'm the lab representative for the group that meets once a month to discuss issues of research safety and other related topics. I've been indoctrinated with websites, phone numbers, names of personnel, and other points of contact in case of any emergency. I sit through their meetings each month where they discuss every chemical, biological, or radiation incident including "mysterious smells."

Well! Today there is finally something for me to report! Just sitting in the lab we noticed a strange burned rubber smell wafting through the air. Other people on our floor noticed, too. It was very strong. So we decided to call someone. After going through the numbers for Chemical/Biological/Radiation safety, building security, and the emergency number you're supposed to call in the event of a fire, we found no one answering the phones. There's a snow emergency in Boston right now, so we were worried that maybe everyone left work early. My coworker went down to the security desk in the building lobby to ask what was going on.

Apparently, a truck is stuck in the snow right outside the building, near the main air intake vents. Truck exhaust has been slowly filtering into the entire building as they try to get it out of there. Since so many people called about it, everyone at the emergency numbers just stopped answering their phones. Nice.