***NEW! As of May 1, 2017, Chemical Hazard Door signs will be generated through the SFU Laboratory Hazard Inventory System. See Chemical Hazard sign for more information.***

The SFU door signage program provides emergency responders with information about the hazardous materials and equipment in a room so that they can plan a safe entry response in the event of an emergency. Without this information, they may not risk sending crews into rooms where the hazards are unknown, or they may create unnecessary damage to equipment and research.

Components of Laboratory Hazard Signage

Based on the nature of hazards present in the lab, signage may be required for:

  • Chemical Hazards
  • Biohazards
  • Radiation Hazards
  • X-ray Hazard
  • Magnet Hazard and/or
  • Laser Hazard

Additional signage is also available to restrict entrance by service personnel.

Chemical Hazard Sign

This signage is mandatory for spaces that have hazardous chemicals.  It is also used for areas without chemical hazards but who wish to display emergency contacts for the lab.  

Emergency contacts must be familiar with the hazardous materials present and the activities of the lab, and be available by phone, including during evenings and weekends. During an emergency or incident in the lab, emergency contacts will be called and asked to provide crucial information for internal and external responders.

Chemicals hazards present in the lab are represented by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) diamond and the WHMIS pictograms. The NFPA ratings for chemicals are weight averaged and they indicate the health (blue), flammability (red) and reactivity (yellow) hazards of chemicals present, whereas the number in white is an indicator of quantity. Each number is on a scale from 0 (no hazard/none) to 4 (severe hazard/high quantity).

How do I generate a Chemical Hazard door sign?

These signs are generated in the SFU Laboratory Hazard Inventory System. Select the link at right to access the online inventory system. For more information, go to Hazard Inventory.

Does the chemical hazard sign have to be printed in colour?

Yes, the chemical hazard door sign should be printed in colour so the NFPA diamond and WHMIS pictograms are in colour and easy to interpret. If you do not have access to a colour printer, contact Catherine Peltier in EHRS at for assistance.

When does the chemical hazard sign need to be updated?

The sign should be updated whenever laboratory contacts change or when there is a significant change to the type and quantity of chemicals in the lab. At minimum, the sign must be reprinted on an annual basis. After the chemical hazard door sign is printed for the first time in the SFU Laboratory Hazard Inventory System, the lab PI/Supervisor or designate will receive an email notification from the system on an annual basis when their lab's signage is due for renewal. Lab signage is also verified during annual laboratory inspections.

I have printed the sign and a second page printed too. What do I do with it?

The chemical hazard sign always prints 2 pages: the first is the sign, like the one pictured above at right, and the second page contains the emergency contacts' names and after-hours numbers.

After printing your chemical hazard sign (2 pages), remove the old sign (a Post-it® note is useful for this) and insert the new one in the door sign holder. Insert the second page behind the first, as it can be retrieved by Campus Safety & Security Services staff in the case of an emergency after hours. Stick a coloured tab to the edge of your second page (you can re-use the one from the old sign) to make it easier for Security to pull out the sign.

Remember that if you are an emergency contact, you must be available by phone, even during evenings and weekends.

Biohazard Sign

This orange and black sign is only for labs requiring level 2 containment for the organisms they are working with.  Level 1 labs do not require a biohazard sign but must still comply with applicable requirements.

Radiation Sign

This red and yellow trefoil identifies those areas containing radioisotopes.  Please contact Radiation Safety for more information or signage.

X-Ray sign

This sign indicates devices that emit radiation in the form of X-rays are present. Refer to Radiation Safety for more information.

Magnet Sign

This sign indicates that strong magnets are in use. Do not enter if you have a pacemaker, metallic implant, or neurostimulator. Iron, steel and other ferrous materials, such as keys and scissors, should not be brought into this room. For more information, see Radiation Safety.  

Laser Sign

This sign indicates that devices containing lasers are present. Skin and eye exposure to direct or scattered radiation should be avoided. For more information please see Radiation Safety's laser webpage

Additional Signage to Restrict Entry by Service Personnel

Wet Mopping Sign

For rooms with a biohazard or radioactive sign, wet mopping will only be provided if it has been pre-arranged for a designated night, and if the wet-mop sign is displayed on that night. By displaying the wet-mop sign, you are assuring the cleaning staff that there are no biohazardous or radioactive contaminants on the floors. On your designated night of each two-week period, the cleaning staff will check your door plaque for the wet-mop sign; if no wet-mop sign is displayed, the cleaning staff will not wet mop your lab, but they will still collect regular trash and dry mop the lab.

To obtain a Wet Mopping sign, contact

No Entry/no Janitorial service

This sign is used to restrict access to a lab by janitorial staff. It is useful for restricting entrance due to light sensitive reactions, as well as equipment and safety concerns. Lab occupants are responsible for managing the use of this sign, as it can be added or removed from their door sign plaque as needed. Note, when this sign is in place, janitors will not enter the room for any reason, so garbage and recycling bins should be left in the hall for collection.

To obtain a No Entry/No Janitorial Service sign, contact

Restricted Access

Service personnel (Facilities Services, Contractors, Janitors and Campus Safety & Security Services) are required to enter rooms for repair, renovation, cleaning and routine maintenance (e.g., inspecting fire extinguishers and emergency washing facilities or replacing lighting) or for emergency situations (responding to floods or electrical issues). There are rooms where immediate entry by Service personnel may pose a hazard to the individual or occupant, or may compromise specific security or safety protocols which are in place.

A Restricted Access sign is used to prevent inadvertent entry into a room unless accompanied by individuals responsible for the room or lab, whether it be an emergency or non emergency situation. To arrange for escort, service personnel must contact the responsible parties displayed directly on the sign or individuals listed on the hazardous material (chemical) door sign already in place.

To obtain a Restricted Access sign, contact