Fume Hood Safety is critically important but rarely talked about.

Let’s review some basic important fume hood safety guidelines:

  • Make sure you have the proper safety glasses and the proper safety gloves
  • Make sure appropriate clothing is always worn in the lab. A lab coat may be required in some laboratory applications.
  • Always follow safe practice rules and protocols for your facility. This can vary from place to place.
  • Never allow your head to enter the pane of the sash.
  • Always keep the vertical sash below your face and if you’re using a horizontal sash, make sure it is positioned in front of you. You should be working while reaching around the sash to get into the hood.
  • Make sure that nothing is blocking the airflow through the baffles or through the exhaust slots.
  • Elevate all large equipment at least two inches for better airflow to not make rapid movements around a fume hood.
  • Always move your hand, and a direct line of motion always keep materials at least six inches inside of the face of the sash.
  • And always close the sash when not working in the field.

Fume Hood Safety & Components:

Remember, all fume hoods are built uniquely, so check the components on your hood. The airflow sensor is a very important piece of equipment that monitors and measures the airflow through your field. This is to be calibrated in the field. When your airflow goes above or below the set parameters, an alarm should sound to alert the user of this situation.

Again all fume hoods are built differently and have fume hood safety, so please check with Labs USA for fume hood safety guidelines. You may call 801-855-8560 for assistance in identifying your fume hood if you are not sure.

The fixture handles on the front of your fume hood safety controls the services on your fume hood.

These are individually labeled with the appropriate services. The fixtures that are inside of your fume hood are designed to connect hoses to them for experiments. If your hood has a blower switch, this will turn your fume hood on and off.

Fume hoods have several GFI electrical plugs for use with equipment. Louvers are provided for bypass on constant air volume hoods. Only the light switch is connected to your built-In lighting in your humid distillation racks are designed to hold your laboratory equipment and hoses. These are mounted to the fume hood on the back wall.

The sash is the protective sliding glass on the front of your fume hood:

The sash is also to help protect your body from any unexpected physical harm, like a bad reaction in the fume hood or, potentially worse, an explosion for constant air volume hoods. As you raise the sash up, the face velocity drops. As you lower the sash, the face velocity will increase depending on how your HVAC system was designed will determine the face velocity of the human variable.

Air volume hoods maintain a constant velocity at any height. Now, that doesn’t mean that you should keep your sash open high. We always want to work at a safe eighteen inches or lower. This will help protect your face and your body.  

Fume Hood Safety Guidelines:

Fume Hood Safety includes putting your safety glasses on and safety gloves, so you don’t get anything dangerous on your hands. Now fire up your fume hood by turning the button on Turn on the lights and make sure those are working. Inspect the sash first. It should open and close correctly.

There should not be any issues with your sash as this protects your face. It is also very important to inspect your airflow to make sure your hood is functioning correctly. If you do not have the appropriate equipment, you can always hire a service to come to do this.

In a properly functioning hood, the fumes are exhausted very quickly when the fume hood is turned on. It’s very important to always start with your hood turn down. If your hood is not functioning properly, the fumes can start to escape the hood. And the worst part is they come towards the front of the stage where you’re breathing. Improper fume hood safety can be harmful or fatal.

A visual smoke test is a great way to see how your fume hood is functioning.

It’s a good idea to test the fume hood safety is working. Bring the smoke back and forth across the face of the hood; if you can see the smoke being drawn into the hood, that is good. Never bring a chemical outside the hood. The airfoil draws air through the bottom and the top as you bring your experiment over it and under it. Bring the sash down a little lower now. You should see that immediately, the velocity increases.

This is the reason why you want to always operate with your sash at the lowest height possible that is comfortable to work with your arms underneath the sash. This should always be below your face, no matter what. As you raise the sash up, you’ll notice the velocity starts to go down.

fume hood safety guidelines mention it is very important to keep in mind the room has to have the proper balance for the correct airflow through the fume hood. If your room’s airflow is not balanced correctly, you will not get the performance out of your fume hood that you desire. So simply stated, an adequate amount of air must enter the room in order to exit the room at the correct amount of airflow that you are seeking.

This should be done in advance before any research or experiments are performed.

To maintain fume hood safety, always be working at a minimum of six inches inside of your fume hood, and always make sure that your sash is closed, so it is below your face.

The lower the sash, the better, and it is always safer. The human is not a science experiment. Make sure that you keep all objects out of the fumes that are not a part of the experiment. This will block the appropriate airflow and will cause contamination to the room. Breathing this contamination can be very harmful, if not fatal. Never put your head inside of a fume hood.

Powder Balance Fume Hood

Always make sure all equipment inside of your fume hood is elevated at least two inches.

This allows for proper airflow into the baffles. Also, make sure to store all extra chemicals in the proper storage. Do not leave them in the fume hood while you’re working with other experiments.

If you see your hood is not functioning correctly, immediately close the sash and make a phone call to the appropriate personnel. Do not stay in the room as your air may become contaminated and harmful. It is also important to keep the caps on all chemicals that are not in use.

Quick movements in a laboratory can disrupt airflow and Fume Hood Safety

Pharmaceutical powder fume hoods air flowIt is very important to walk slowly through a laboratory and also to work in direct movements. Reaching straight in and straight out of the hood is the best recommendation. It is also very important to keep track of all the chemicals stored under or near your feet, but make sure that all the caps are secure, so that way spills and leaks are kept to a minimum.

If a spill does occur, fume hood safety guidelines say is important to move all of the chemicals away from the spill. It is also important to clean this area up thoroughly and immediately. There is no replacement for fume hood safety in the laboratory.

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