Before using a fume hood you should:

  • Make sure that the exhaust blower is operating and air is entering into the fume hood or ventilated equipment. Visually check your airflow monitor to verify that the system is operational.
  • A qualitative fume hood check can also be accomplished by taking a small strip of Kim-Wipe and place it near the opening. If the fume hood is operating properly the tissue should be drawn inward. If the strip of tissue is not drawn inward, please notify FMP at x3668 or Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) at x3000.
  • Do not place your head inside of a unit.
  • Do not store chemicals or equipment inside your fume hood if they are not needed for the current experiment or process.
  • Clean up spills as soon as possible using a neutral cleaner and dispose of contaminated wipes and paper towels as solid chemical waste.
  • The hood or ventilated equipment should be in continuous operation if any volatile, toxic or corrosive materials are stored or used in the unit.
  • Except when adjusting equipment and carrying out manipulations inside the hood, the sash should be kept closed. When making these adjustments, the sash should be raised between 30 and 45 cm (12 to 18 inches).
  • Avoid blocking off the baffle exhaust slots located in back of the fume hood. Elevate large equipment 2 inches off the surface or base of the fume hood.
  • Be aware of other room ventilation factors that may interfere with the unit’s operation. Opened doors, windows, blocked exhaust ports or heating and air conditioning vents can negatively impact fume hood/ventilation equipment performance.
  • Avoid cross drafts and disruptive air currents in front of the fume hood.
  • Use your fume hood sash as a safety shield when working in a fume hood. Work with the sash at the proper level as indicated by the certification sticker placed on the fume hood.
  • Never work in a fume hood with a broken sash. Never attempt to lower a fume hood sash that has been broken, instead contact Facilities at x3668 (or fmp.service.centre@carleton.ca) or EHS at x3000 (or ehs@carleton.ca) to have the sash repaired.
  • Prepare a plan of action in case of an emergency, such as a power failure. Your plan should include what actions are to be taken to make the operation and materials in the unit safe.
  • Know where your fire extinguisher is located. Verify that it is approved for the materials being used. Contact EHS to receive fire extinguisher training. Contact the Department of University Safety (DUS) at x4444 should an emergency occur.
  • Periodically check for proper airflow through the unit by checking the audio-visual (AV) alarm or using the Kim-Wipe method.