Navigating Fume Hood Failures: Essential Steps and Tips

What happens after your fume hood fails in a test?  Chip Albright, renowned expert in laboratory safety, shares invaluable advice for navigating the situation when your laboratory fume hood fails its tests.

1. Stay Calm and Prioritize Safety: Failed tests are part of the safety protocol. Cease using the failed fume hood immediately to prevent exposure to harmful fumes.

2. Cease Usage Immediately: Upon discovering that your fume hood has failed its tests, stop using it immediately. A malfunctioning fume hood poses a serious risk to lab personnel.

3. Notify Relevant Personnel: Inform your lab manager, facilities team, or external maintenance service about the failure. Provide them with detailed information about the failed tests and any observed irregularities.

4. Understand Failure Prevalence: Chip highlights that a significant percentage of installed hoods worldwide fail containment tests. Regular testing is vital for preventing hazardous situations.

5. Mark as Out of Order: Clearly label the failed fume hood as out of order to prevent accidental use and potential exposure to harmful fumes.

6. Assess Testing Service Quality: Ensure that the testing service you use is knowledgeable and capable of providing accurate assessments of fume hood performance and safety.

7. Ensure Proper Repair and Retesting: Once the fume hood performance has been restored, make sure it undergoes and passes all necessary tests before you start using it again.

Conclusion: A failed test is not the end of the world; it's an opportunity to fix a problem before it becomes a hazard. While it might temporarily delay your work, the safety it ensures is priceless. 

Remember to prioritize lab safety protocols, stay curious, and keep those inquisitive minds buzzing!


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