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A fume hood is likely to be familiar to anyone who has worked in a laboratory with quality lab furniture. You can complete whatever task you need with a quality fume hood, and any hazardous fumes will be sent out through a ventilation system, which either deposits them outside the building or filters and recirculates the cleaned air back into the room.

To ensure that their research spaces are safe, comfortable, and conducive to productivity, researchers must purchase the right lab furniture. However, choosing an efficient fume hood can be difficult, but for various reasons, it is best to consider a few tips before making a purchase.

In this article, we’ll examine some of the most critical safety precautions you should be thinking about when adding lab furniture and fume hoods to your laboratory environment. Keep reading to learn more and discover how a trusted company can provide your lab environment with the highest quality lab furniture that ensures the safety of your lab workers.

8 Safety Tips When Purchasing Lab Furniture and Fume Hoods

When working in hazardous environments such as science laboratories, toxic fumes, vapors, dust, and other toxic discharges must be properly ventilated to limit exposure to hazardous emissions. Lab furniture and chemical fume hoods are useful appliances to ensure the safety, health, and productivity of the occupants of the lab.

Here are eight safety considerations for lab furniture and fume hoods that you should remember:

Strategic Layout

Making basic precautions, such as keeping flammable gases away from heat sources and electricals away from water, will cover half of the safety concerns. Taller and oversized items should be stored in the back, and reagent containers should be kept separate from waste containers.

Proper lighting is also very important for more efficient fume hood safety. Adequate lighting will assist you in detecting gas leaks, avoiding spills, and thus avoiding accidents.

Adequate Space for Fume Hood

The size and space requirements for a fume hood will vary depending on the application, but a fume hood will need at least a 10-cubic-foot-volume space and a height of at least 8 feet. If your hood is smaller than these requirements, or you are unable to minimize foot traffic, you may experience a pressurized atmosphere within the laboratory fume hoods, which could lead to problems, including electrical shock and burns.

If you’re unsure how big a fume hood is needed for your lab, you can measure the dimensions of your chosen hood to get an idea of how much space you’ll need. Similarly, you can also purchase a fume hood that’s too large and move it to a smaller space if necessary. However, if you move smaller fume hoods to a large equipment space, you will likely incur additional installation costs.

Environment Appropriate

Some laboratories generate thick chemical fumes from hazardous chemicals. These fumes can be dangerous, especially if a facility lacks a competent laboratory fume hood. Knowing your chemical type can be a great help in determining what type of fume hood to buy.

It is best to consult with a lab furniture specialist for an adequate assessment. Lab furniture experts are knowledgeable and can provide important information about the utility of the fume hood, making it may be easier to decide on what type you want after they have completed the assessment.

Positioning of the Lab Equipment 

When positioning the lab furniture, lab managers and designers must consider surrounding variables that may have a negative impact on the system’s procedural efficiency. Proximity and the number of foot traffic and people moving around in the room can draw contaminated air and volatile chemicals by producing counter-rotating air and overcoming the face velocity of the ventilation system.

Similarly, it is critical to consider the placement of lab doors and windows in order to avoid turbulence around the hood opening. If something goes wrong, debris or hazardous materials could leak from the exhaust system and cause damage to anything located opposite the fume hood opening.

Sufficient Enclosure

The enclosure around a fume hood should be tight to prevent stray particles from entering the researcher’s space. The minimum enclosure requirements depend on the type of hood you purchase, but many are shipped with an enclosure that’s too large for the space.

The enclosure should be the same size as the hood or slightly smaller to prevent particles from entering the space during set-up and clean-up. To reduce the amount of time the fan is on, you can either move to a smaller space or invest in a quieter model.

Be Cognizant of Your Surrounding Environment

The fume hood should have signage indicating whether or not it is fully operational, as well as a pressure gauge indicating airflow within the hood. However, if the hood is undergoing maintenance or is turned off for any other reason, performing chemical work inside that hood will provide you with less than maximum protection.

Every time you use your fume hood, double-check your signage and pressure gauge. Pay attention to what’s going on around you as well to reduce the risk of disaster.

Air Flow Monitoring Capability

A good fume hood will come with an airflow meter to measure the amount of air that’s flowing through the hood. If the hood is not properly installed or the airflow is blocked, the hood will not be able to deliver the minimum amount of air pressure required to keep the space at the right level.

To prevent these issues, make sure the hood is installed high enough to prevent the space under it from becoming moist. Ensure there is also adequate airflow to keep the space at the desired level.

Avoid Storing Items Under the Fume Hood

Lastly, by storing toxic chemicals or other items under the fume hood, you risk restricting airflow or accidentally spilling or mixing highly concentrated chemicals. Incompatible chemical storage can lead to serious accidents and complications.

To meet this requirement, you can incorporate appropriate shelving and storage cabinets to store chemicals in the lab. Flammable solution storage can protect the substance in the event of a fire, preventing exacerbation and the possibility of an accident.

Ensure the Safety of Your Laboratory with Lab Furniture from LabTech Supply Company

A chemical fume hood and lab furniture are essential components in any laboratory workspace. Workers in hazardous environments, such as laboratories, can be exposed to various chemicals throughout the workday, which means it’s vital that they have the best lab furniture possible to ensure their utmost safety.

As a result, to ensure that the lab is safe, comfortable, and productive, lab furniture and supplies should be carefully selected. If you’re looking for high-quality lab furniture that will keep your lab workers safe, look no further than LabTech Supply Company.

We want to assist you in creating the safest and most efficient laboratory possible by providing high-quality laboratory furniture at a reasonable price. We’ve been providing our customers with a wide range of lab furniture and fume hoods for all types of laboratory work environments for over 30 years.

Our team of lab furniture specialists works hard to ensure your lab is always up to date, and we can’t wait to learn how we can help you. You may discuss your needs with one of our lab equipment experts and learn more about how our high-quality, professional-grade lab equipment can improve your workspace.

Send us an email at sales@labtechsupplyco.com or contact us at 800-476-5228 at LabTech Supply Company today!

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