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What do I do when my freezer alarm goes off?

What do I do when my freezer alarm goes off?

If your lab’s refrigerator or freezer alarm goes off, and no one’s around to hear it, are your samples really thawing out? Yes—absolutely! Yet, it’s not always easy to maintain round-the-clock cold storage monitoring with traditional methods. If a lab currently relies only on thermometers, chart recorders, or data loggers, they could miss critical changes in their storage’s temperature. By the time they’ve realized that something is wrong, it's too late.

The answer to “What do I do when my refrigerator or freezer alarm goes off?” may seem obvious—fix the root cause of the problem and ensure that perishable samples are moved to an effective storage unit. But team members can’t respond to an alarm they don’t hear. In this blog, we’ll cover ways that labs can become more responsive to alarms. After all, it’s hard for your team to hear an alarm when they’re not on site, right? Not anymore. With real-time, remote cold storage alert monitoring, researchers can notice irregularities within seconds and fix them before they cause research setbacks. More on that to follow.  

Why is my freezer alarm beeping?

When a lab refrigerator or freezer alarm is going off, it could be due to significant changes in temperature, humidity, light, or vibration that threaten the condition of samples. So what causes a freezer to stop freezing and makes these changes to an environment? It could be factors inside the cold storage unit or outside of it.

Internal factors that can affect a cold storage unit’s performance mostly deal with its electrical components. If there’s faulty wiring, that could quickly cause a freezer high temperature problem.

External influences on a cold storage unit’s performance are more varied. The following can all impact how safe sensitive samples are:

  • Laboratory temperature: Keeping a laboratory cool can help ease the wear-and-tear on cold storage equipment, which can make it last longer.
  • Sunlight amount and intensity: If cold storage units are exposed to sunlight for long periods throughout the day, they’ll need to spend more energy to keep their internal space cool.
  • HVAC unit and other appliance placement: Vibrations increase temperature. The closer other appliances are to cold storage units, the harder those units will have to work to counter the heat put off by those appliances.
  • Laboratory humidity: Cold storage units don’t just need to keep steady temperatures, they also have to regulate humidity. Moisture levels that are too high or even too low could damage sensitive samples. If a laboratory has extreme levels of humidity, then refrigerators and freezers will have to work harder to maintain regular internal levels. 
  • Activity level: “Why does my freezer door alarm keep going off?” That’s because lab refrigerators and freezers, like those in homes, lose energy every time someone opens the door. That’s why Element T includes tools for monitoring unit activity. That way, it’s easy to see what’s causing energy inefficiencies and how to make improvements.

Keeping the freezer temperature alarm from going off for an emergency requires a holistic, lab-wide approach. Labs need to consider layout, the quality of equipment, and research processes. It’s also important to monitor cold storage units from anywhere, at any time.

That’s where Element T comes in. This cloud-based device monitoring system enables the analysis of freezer temperature from anywhere that has internet connection. The platform’s AI forecasting tools also help analyze patterns to better detect abnormal reports, which is ideal for maintaining freezer temperatures. For measuring other factors in the room environment like humidity, pressure, and light—as well as temperature—then Element A is suited for your needs. Team members can even receive SMS and email alerts from wherever they’re working from, so breakdowns don’t go unnoticed. 

How do I reset my freezer alarm log?

Laboratory freezers and refrigerators typically have a digital control panel. This panel allows users to set the temperature, reset the alarm log, and more. To visualize this process, check out this quick video tutorial on how to reset refrigerator temperature for a Liebherr Professional Laboratory Refrigerator.

Resetting the alarm log tracks the high and low temperatures over a period of time. Regulations may require you to reset alarm logs at specific frequencies. For example, the CDC’s guidelines for vaccine storage state that researchers should reset temperatures daily. The Elemental Machines system is intuitive to use, with all alarm activity tracked—recording every instance where somebody logged in and turned off or reset the alarm. This activity then can be exported for documentation purposes like audits and ease compliance, making it easy for labs to follow CDC and other agency best practice and compliance guidance.

Never miss a cold storage emergency with Elemental Machines!

Don’t let a small system error cost your team years of research. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what can happen when you rely on manual monitoring systems. Thermometers and chart recorders may save money during installation, but you need team members consistently on site to take readings. For a smaller headcount, that isn’t always possible, which leaves periods of higher risk for unnoticed failures.

With Element T, your team doesn’t have to stress over how your cold storage unit devices are performing. Why? Because they can check-in whenever, from wherever. Cloud-based monitoring and alert systems provide access to data remotely, and can send customizable alerts through the app, email, or SMS text messages. Element T also updates data in real-time with new readings every 15 seconds and cloud updates every 60 seconds. At any given minute, you can know exactly how your equipment is performing.

Ready to see the difference for yourself? Schedule a demo today!

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