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partial recycling of air, altered ventilation rates, or the use of auxiliary equipment. In the event of a partial HVAC system failure, systems should be designed to supply facility needs at a reduced level. It is essential that life-threatening heat accumulation or loss be prevented during mechanical failure. Totally redundant systems are seldom practical or necessary except under special circumstances (as in some biohazard areas). Temporary needs for ventilation of sheltered or outdoor facilities can usually be met with auxiliary equipment.
In some instances, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are recommended for air supplied to animal-holding, procedural, and surgical facilities. Also, consideration should be given to the regulation of air-pressure differentials in surgical, procedural, housing, and service areas. For example, areas for quarantine, housing, and use of animals exposed to hazardous materials and for housing of nonhuman primates should be kept under relative negative pressure, whereas areas for surgery, for clean-equipment storage, and for housing of pathogen-free animals should be kept under relative positive pressure with clean air. Maintaining air-pressure differentials is not the principal or only method by which cross contamination is controlled and should not be relied on for containment. Few air-handling systems have the necessary controls or capacity to maintain pressure differentials across doors or similar structures when they are opened for even brief periods. Containment requires the use of biologic-safety cabinets and exhausted airlocks or other means, some of which are described in Chapter 1.
If recirculated air is used, its quality and quantity should be in accord with recommendations in Chapter 2. The type and efficiency of air treatment should be matched to the quantity and types of contaminants and to the risks that they pose.
Power and Lighting
The electric system should be safe and provide appropriate lighting, a sufficient number of power outlets, and suitable amperage for specialized equipment. In the event of power failure, an alternative or emergency power supply should be available to maintain critical services (for example, the HVAC system) or support functions (for example, freezers, ventilated racks, and isolators) in animal rooms, operating suites, and other essential areas.
Light fixtures, timers, switches, and outlets should be properly sealed to prevent vermin from living there. Recessed energy-efficient fluorescent lights are most commonly used in animal facilities. A time-controlled lighting system should be used to ensure a uniform diurnal lighting cycle. Timer performance and timer-overriding systems should be checked regularly to ensure proper cycling. Light bulbs or fixtures should be equipped with protective covers to ensure the safety of the animals and personnel. Moisture-resistant switches and outlets and ground-fault interrupters should be used in areas with high water use, such as cage-washing areas and aquarium-maintenance areas.