A fume hood is a very special piece of laboratory equipment. It is actually an item of lab furniture that you can use to perform dangerous or toxic experiments. Obviously, that would require regular care and cleaning since it provides human safety. Today, we will talk about fume hood maintenance and care.
Ask any top-class scientific institute ‒ they will tell you how important a fume hood is in any chemical or biological laboratory. There are a lot of variations of this specialized lab equipment , depending upon usage; and their maintenance varies with that as well. But all of them agree on one point ‒ a fume hood, regardless of type, can only protect you when it is clean and working properly.
A fume hood has two main functions. The first and most common purpose is to protect the user from toxic fumes and gasses that can come out of the lab apparatus you’ve set up inside the enclosure of the fume cabinet. The second purpose of fume hoods is to protect the user from accidents ‒ from explosions or splashes that may happen in your experiment! But this can only work if the front shash is lowered properly.
Any lab equipment requires regular maintenance and cleanup, but fume hoods are special in this. Since a fume hood expels harmful gasses and chemicals out of the laboratory and often the experiments done within it are quite dangerous, this piece of lab furniture has to be taken care of more regularly and more carefully. A damaged or malfunctioning fume hood may become a serious health hazard quickly and can even take someone’s life!
There are certain steps you can take to do fume hood maintenance. They are as follows.
Since fume hoods are basically safety equipment, keeping them in top performance is the best way to go and regular servicing is needed for that. Simple cleaning can only take you so far ‒ there are some things you simply can’t do yourself (not unless you are a licensed technician). So, at least once a year, you should call an expert fume hood technician to inspect your fume cupboard.
It would, of course, vary with your fume hood manufacturer’s warranty, but generally, a fume hood service person would check for the following.
Above that, in case of some incidents that occurred within the hood, the service person will also check for damages in the cabinet. Fume hood servicing is very important and should be done once a year, at least.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, a fume hood is a safety equipment and therefore you have to keep it in perfect condition. So, to ensure that, you will want to check it out from time to time, making sure everything is working fine. Do the following to inspect a fume hood.
Look before you leap, said wise people. Just so, you should be careful while using your expensive fume hood ‒ safe usage means a safe future and less maintenance. Here are some dos and don’ts of fume hood usage:
A fume hood can be the most important piece of equipment in your laboratory, in that it saves lives. To make sure it does that, you have to make sure that it runs perfectly. This is the reason why taking proper care of a fume hood is so important. Good knowledge of fume hood maintenance is mandatory for safe and fruitful laboratory work. If it’s broken or you find anything amiss in your regular inspection, call up the fume hood repair service immediately, and mark it closed for repair at once.
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