Research Freezers

CSU’s property insurance may cover research loss provided the loss is as a result of a covered event. Sometimes research freezers fail, or contents are damaged or destroyed, as a result of a non-covered event, and such losses are not covered by CSU’s property insurance. Research loss is often a devastating experience for researchers who most often have lost their life’s work.

RMI Recommends that impacted departments register their critical freezers and complete the freezer audit form. Please return completed forms to RMI, Campus Delivery 6002.

Freezer Register
Freezer Audit

The following strategies are recommended:

  1. Make sure that all outlets that support research freezers are clearly marked, and that notices are clearly displayed prohibiting disconnection of outlets. (For example a contractor needs to use an outlet, and unplugs the freezer, and then never replaces it.)
  2. Make sure that freezer rooms do not over load the system resulting in outages. (Review number of outlets, determine maximum load.) Post signage of maximum number of freezers allowed per outlet. Do not overload the system.
  3. Make sure that electrical power is backed up by generators. (Regularly testing and maintenance of generators is recommended.) Determine the length of time that back-up generators would provide, and make sure that the time provided is sufficient for alternative plans to be made. If time provided is not sufficient, make alternative plans.
  4. Perform regular maintenance on freezers.
  5. Equipment, including freezers do have a shelf life. Monitor the age of freezers, and plan for a replacement schedule based on shelf life.
  6. Have a centralized monitoring system that will alarm and notify designated personnel when freezers experience a power interruption and temperature increase. Regular testing of monitoring systems is recommended. Ensure that backup systems are in place to provide back up to monitoring systems.
  7. Software monitoring systems – test monitoring systems regularly. Make sure you have planned for and tested back- up systems to ensure that software monitoring systems are performing correctly. Provide for surge protectors, regular replacement of batteries, etc.
  8. Perform regular in person inspections of freezers and freezer rooms. (Personal observation is often better than relying on technology.) Make sure that freezers are connected to outlets, make sure that freezer doors are adequately secured, freezers are operational.
  9. For high value research samples, if feasible, do not store all samples in one location. Spread the risk of loss or damage due to freezer failure, by storing in other protected locations.