Stanford University

Mitigation Programs

ProtectSU focuses on reducing losses from damage or destruction of equipment in the event of an earthquake.

The ProtectSU Seismic Restraint Program is a University-supported program that shares the cost of restraining high-value laboratory equipment (defined as any piece of equipment with an original purchase price of at least $20,000). It only provided for high-value equipment not required to be restrained by code.

ProtectSU provides assistance via the ProtectSU Program Coordinator, who will oversee installation of equipment restraints through an outside vendor. To ensure that seismic restraints are maintained, ProtectSU makes it easy to order seismic restraint materials and provides do-it-yourself (DIY) instructions. ProtectSU will also coordinate with construction project managers to install universal restraint bars (URB) on benchtops during laboratory renovation or new construction.

Seismic Restraint Materials
  1. Earthquakes can happen at any time, so it’s essential to maintain seismic restraints on valuable equipment in every Stanford laboratory. The University’s objective is to protect equipment over time and ensure that new equipment is restrained as soon as it arrives to the lab.

    Stanford makes it easy to maintain seismic restraints by providing access to:

    • Tested and approved restraint materials
    • Do-it-yourself (DIY) instructions to install seismic restraints on benchtop equipment

    DIY Equipment Seismic Restraint Installation Guides


Property Inventory
  1. The ProtectSU program makes it a priority to maintain seismic restraints on laboratory equipment in every lab on campus.

    ProtectSU coordinates closely with the Stanford Property Management Office (PMO) to track seismic restraints during the biannual property inventory. This means each department property administrator (DPA) must record the use of seismic restraints on equipment by SU Tag # in the Sunflower database. Instructions are provided in the DPA Manual and included in DPA training.


New Construction and Lab Renovation
  1. ProtectSU encourages the installation of universal restraint bars (URB) on benchtops in newly constructed or renovated laboratories.

    Whenever a lab is renovated or newly constructed, ProtectSU will work with the construction project manager to ensure that URBs are installed on benches before equipment is moved in. The construction budget pays for installation of URBs on all laboratory benchtops.

    The Environmental Health & Safety Design Guide – General Requirements for Laboratories, Section 23 addresses the installation of universal restraint bars on laboratory benchtops:

    “A channeled anchoring station for seismic bracing of equipment, named the Universal Restraining Bar, shall be installed along all benchtop /counters in laboratories and other horizontal surfaces that house equipment. These bars shall be installed at the back edge of the bench to minimize bench space used. This system will allow a bracing point for all benchtop equipment and will provide standard bracing locations for all benchtop equipment. This bar allows for bracing of items in a way that allows them to be moved to another location when needed, and re-braced after moving. The bar should be adhered to the benchtop with very high bond adhesive so that no holes are drilled.”

    The ProtectSU Program will cover 75 percent percent of the cost to restrain existing high-value equipment ($20,000 or more) moved into the new lab, as long as restraints are not required by code.

    Through September 2016, as part of the maintenance program, ProtectSU will also pay 25 percent of the cost to restrain newly purchased high-value ($20,000 or more) equipment moved into the new lab, as long as restraints are not required by code.



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