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10 Effective Tips to Put Fume Hoods to Good Use

A drop of chemical and the room is covered in a pungent smell. One should follow certain rules of placing chemicals in fume hood structures to create a favourable working environment in a laboratory.

When any experiment is performed, there are many hazardous materials involved apart from chemicals, such as micro-organisms, vectors, shuttles for RNAi and much more. This assortment of products or chemical reagents can lead to variety of diseases and unfortunate incidents. Therefore, ensure that you select a perfect fume hood structure for different kind of elements used for reaction, obtained as a product and discarded as waste.


Apart from selecting a fume hood structure, another factor that makes a difference in creating a safe laboratory environment is the manner in which we use them. Not every laboratory personnel are experienced enough to know the tactics of making the most of a fume hood structure, following tips can help in such a scenario:

Check The Pressure Gauge: The fume hood structures run throughout the year except the time when they are down for maintenance. Therefore, it is necessary that you always keep an eye on the pressure gauge in order to create a safe environment. However, the need of maintenance is minimized when you get fume hoods from renowned fume hood manufacturers in India.

Check For Signage On Face Of The Hood: Always keep a placard on the face of the hood to ensure that no one places the chemicals inside the hood if it is out of service. Make it a practice to check the air level inside the hood structure so that you don't commit the mistake of storing carcinogens in the fume hood when the airflow is out of range.

Turn ON The Light To See Clearly: Even when you are working with the hood for a short period of time, it is mandatory to switch the lights ON. The lights allow you to see better and avoid any kind of accidents. Working in light also allows you to prevent the spilling of chemicals in the hood structure.

Discuss With Co-workers Before Starting Experimentation: It is obvious that your colleagues may be working with the same chemicals that you need for your experiment, therefore make sure you inform them before starting the experiment. Doing so, will allow you to keep the level of chemicals in fume hood extraction system under check.

Always wear PPE(Personal Protection Equipment): No matter how many safety measures you follow, there are always chances that accidents can occur. Therefore, keep yourself safe by wearing proper clothes such as lab coat, gloves, protective goggles and more. Decide the type of gloves on the basis of chemicals and reagents you are handling.

Cleanliness Is The Key For A Safe Laboratory Environment: Fume hoods full of flammables and combustibles can lead to dangerous accidents. Too many chemicals on one workbench can confuse you. Therefore, make it a point that you take only those chemicals that you are going to use. Fume hoods can be used to store chemicals temporarily, so remove every waste material once you are done.

Maintain The Airflow: Bad and polluted air may sometime block the opening of fume hood structures that may halt the proper working. Therefore, see to it that you remove such chemicals in order to maintain the airflow. Try placing the chemicals in the fume hood in such a manner that air flows with appropriate pressure inside the hood structure.

Adjust The Sash: The lower you place it, the more protection you gain. Keep the sash height as low as possible to ensure the optimum working of the fume hood extraction system.

Organise The Workplace Strategically: There are certain issues that may crop up if you don't strategise your workplace properly. Several rules are considered as rule of thumb and they should be followed anyhow. Some of these are:

  • Store the flammables away from the heat source.
  • Electrical equipments should be placed away from water.
  • Items with larger dimensions should be placed at the back.
  • Store the chemicals at the centre of the fume hood keeping a reasonable margin from all the sides.
  • Waste container bottles should be sized differently.

Bringing Hoods : Last and the most important tip is to carefully select the manufacturer you are placing the order with. Laboratory is a place where slight negligence can lead to fatal accidents. Therefore, select only those manufacturers who can offer SEFA-compliant furniture and have a good track record in the industry and from only reliable fume hood manufacturers in India.

Working in a laboratory can be sometimes overwhelming and taxing as you are always worried about safety. Follow these tips and create a favourable working environment.

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