Everything You Should Know About Fume Hood Operation

Like any other piece of laboratory equipment, it’s important that everyone in your laboratory knows how to properly operate your fume hood. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most important things lab staff need to know about using a fume hood.

1. Know What Your Fume Hood Is For
Fume hoods aren’t one-size-fits-all pieces of equipment—you always need to make sure that the protection needs for your work match up with the type of fume hood you are using. A carbon-filtered fume hood pulls contaminated air through the filters, then recirculates the clean air into the room, thereby protecting only lab personnel. A laminar flow hood, by comparison, protects only the product, while a biological safety cabinet protects both the product and the personnel.

2. Never Operate a Fume Hood Without Appropriate Training
Though it might seem simple enough to use in concept, it’s important that all who use the fume hood are appropriately trained in its use and safety requirements. It’s not only a laboratory best practice, it’s also the best way to make sure no one is injured in a related accident.

3. Always Know What You’re Working with (and Have the MSDS Nearby)
Even with the protective benefit of the hood, it’s an important best practice to always know which chemicals you’re working with, as well as their risks and potential interactions. Be sure to keep the appropriate MSDS nearby for easy reference.

4. Keep the Sash Closed When the Hood Is Not in Use
Just like Mom always said, close it/put it away when you’re not using it. Not only does this ensure the safety of everyone working in the lab, but it also prevents excess energy expenditure. In laboratories using a variable air volume system with sash sensors that adjust the volumetric flow of air, a great deal of energy and money can be saved by lowering the sash and reducing the volume of air flow.

5. Fume Hoods Are Not for Storage
It should go without saying, but nothing should ever be stored inside a fume hood when it’s not in use. This is a common error in labs that don’t have sufficient storage space, but keeping chemicals and equipment inside an unused fume hood can lead to spills, equipment damage, and more. If you need more storage, consider investing in a new set of Genie Scientific steel storage cabinets.

Get a Genie Scientific Custom Fume Hood to Suit Your Needs

For a high-quality, reliable fume hood designed specifically to fit your laboratory’s functions, turn to Genie Scientific. For three decades, we’ve been building and installing custom UL Listed and ASHRAE 110 tested fume hoods with a broad variety of features. From floor-mounted walk-in fume hoods to explosion-proof materials and convenient bench tops, each of our hoods is built to last through experiment after experiment.

To learn more about Genie Scientific fume hoods and other custom laboratory fixtures, contact us today at (800) 545-8816.

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