To state the University Libraries' position on the use of small appliances, particularly toasters/toaster ovens, in the workplace.
During the month of May 2004, Pattee/Paterno was evacuated twice due to fire alarms set off by food burning in a toaster/toaster oven. Hundreds of staff and patrons had to leave the building (one evacuation occurred during finals week), and University Police and safety personnel were tied up searching the building. Because safety personnel are required to determine what fire sensor set off the alarm and the cause of the alarm, they were able to trace the alarms to the use of a toaster/toaster oven.
In addition, several years ago, there was a smoldering fire in one of the walls caused by a toaster. Had this occurred during an evening or weekend, we could have had a disaster.
Due to the inherently dangerous nature of toasters/toaster ovens, because they are not grounded and have exposed heating coils, their use in the Libraries is banned.
The use of microwave ovens is still acceptable.
The Libraries' Safety Committee will determine what small appliances can be used safely in the workplace and that information will be shared with staff at the appropriate time.
Effective Date: June 8, 2004
Date Approved: June 8, 2004 (Dean)
Last Review Date: November 2009