Chemical Fume Hoods 

When will annual maintenance/inspection occur?

The university HVAC team will notify the labs prior to shutdown with information on the date, time and required preparation. These maintenance checks are conducted by a contractor, and will occur building by building.

Our Fume Hood Isn’t Working. What should we do?

Please submit a Facilities Work Order  regarding malfunctioning chemical fume hoods. You can also contact Facilities Customer Service Center at (x2754).

Before using a fume hood:

  •  Read the caution label to be aware of all potential hazards associated with the hood.
  •  Check the certification label  to make sure the unit has been tested within the last year.
  •  Be sure the fume hood is exhausting properly prior to use. Check that the airflow monitor (#3) is showing between 80-120 feet per minute for the face velocity (the speed at which air flows into the hood). The minimum face velocity for a fume hood to operate properly is 100 linear feet per minute, unless it is an energy saving hood (Mott).
  •  Check the light and panels of the hood to make sure there is no damage. If the hood is not working properly, notify your laboratory supervisor and place work request for repair through Facility Services.
  •  Do not lean into the hood so that their head is inside the hood with or without adequate personal protection, except for setup.
  •  Do not block baffles.
  • Do not use large pieces of equipment in a hood, as they tend to cause dead spaces in the airflow and reduce the efficiency of the unit.
  • Inspect the baffles to be sure the slots are open and unobstructed.
  • Place equipment as far back in the hood as practical without blocking the bottom baffle. Separate and elevate each instrument by using racks so that air can flow easily around all apparatus.
  •  Avoid swift arm and body movements near or inside the hood. Do not rapidly open or close the sash. These actions may increase turbulence and reduce the effectiveness of containment.
  •  Place chemicals and apparatus at least 6 inches behind the face of the hood.
  • All electrical devices should be connected outside the hood to avoid sparks. If hoses or cords must be inserted through the face of the hood, run them underneath the airfoil or through the side opening port so the sash can close completely.
  •  Keep sash completely lowered anytime no active part of an experiment is in progress. Close sash when finished with hood work or when leaving experiments or chemicals unattended. The hood sash shall not be removed or left completely open except for setup work.
  •  Hood sash shall be closed to the lowest position possible while still allowing comfortable working conditions.
  • The sash height should be maintained no more than 14” from the bench top for a single vertical sash.  For 2 sashes open, 10” is the recommended maximum.  For a horizontal/combination sash hood, follow the instruction on the yellow sticker.
  •  The hood sash is not a substitute for personal protective equipment.
  • Lab workers still need to wear safety glasses, lab coat, and gloves at all times when working with chemicals in the hood.
  •  Fume hoods shall not be used for storage space. All chemicals not being used for an experiment shall be removed from the hood and placed in their proper storage area until needed.
  •  Evaporation of wastes in the fume hood is strictly prohibited. Keep all chemical containers closed except when adding or removing materials.
  •  Do not use a hood for any other function for which it was not intended. Certain chemicals or reactions require specially constructed hoods.
  •  Clean all chemical residues from the hood chamber when finished with work . All materials used to clean up spills shall be discarded as hazardous waste.
  • Waste containers should be clearly marked to prevent incompatible substances from mixing.

Contact Lab Safety

Phone:     617.373.2769 

Northeastern University
Office of Academic and Research Safety/OARS
320 Renaissance Park
1135 Tremont Street

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