Fume Cupboards for Universities and Schools in 2024: Ensuring Safety in Educational Settings
Fume cupboards, also known as fume hoods, are indispensable when it comes to ensuring safety in laboratory and educational settings. These specially designed enclosures serve a crucial purpose by effectively containing and managing hazardous fumes, vapours, and gases.
By doing so, they provide a protective barrier that shields students and lab staff from potential exposure to toxic substances. The importance of fume cupboards cannot be overstated, as they play a vital role in maintaining a safe and secure environment for scientific research and experimentation.
Universities and schools understand the significance of using fume cupboards, but they frequently encounter difficulties when it comes to making well-informed buying choices.
In this extensive analysis, we will explore the different elements of fume cupboards that are specifically tailored for schools and universities. This includes examining the various types of fume cupboards, the installation procedures involved, the necessary training requirements, and the importance of regular maintenance and commissioning procedures.
Who Are We
We are a Yorkshire based fume cupboard specialist who offer schools and universities an unparalleled level of support in purchasing local exhaust ventilated equipment and maintaining it to comply with UK standards including BS EN14175 and BS 7989.
As a specialist supplier to education, industry and laboratories in general, we carry one of the widest ranges of educational ducted fume cupboards, ductless demonstration fume cupboards, laminar flow cabinets, balance enclosures, vented containment enclosures and class II microbiological safety cabinets.
Reach out to Holliday Fielding Hocking to discuss your universities or schools needs today.
Understanding Fume Cupboard Types and Specifications
When it comes to fume cupboards in educational institutions like schools and universities, there are two primary types to consider: ducted fume cupboards and ductless fume cupboards.
Ducted fume cupboards are designed to effectively eliminate harmful fumes by channelling them through a duct system that is connected to an exhaust stack located outside the building. This ensures that the fumes are safely removed from the laboratory environment.
On the other hand, ductless fume cupboards utilise HEPA or carbon filters to purify chemicals and particles, allowing the air to be recirculated within the laboratory.
The choice between ducted fume cupboards and ductless fume cupboards depends on various factors, such as the nature and frequency of experiments conducted in the laboratory.
For experiments that involve highly toxic or volatile substances, ducted fume cupboards are often recommended as they provide a direct pathway for fumes to be expelled from the building.
However, for experiments that involve less hazardous materials, ductless fume cupboards can be a suitable option as they provide a cost-effective and efficient way to purify the air within the laboratory.
It is always advisable to consult with a knowledgeable professional, such as a laboratory safety expert or an industrial hygienist, to determine the most suitable fume cupboard option for your specific requirements.
Their expertise will ensure that you make an informed decision that prioritises the safety and well-being of everyone in the laboratory environment.
The Installation Process of Fume Cupboards
The installation of a fume cupboard is not a task to be taken lightly. It requires careful planning and the allocation of resources. This process can be quite challenging and time-consuming.
One must consider various factors, such as ventilation in ducted fume cupboards, arrangements for make-up air, and the implementation of safety measures. Each step must be approached with meticulous attention to detail and precision.
Companies like Holliday Fielding Hocking Ltd (HFH) specialise in providing accurate information and timeframes to minimise disruption to lectures, teachers, academics, and students during the installation process.
Depending on the complexity of the project, a ducted fume cupboard installation can typically take between two to ten days, while a ductless fume cupboard can be installed within two to three hours.
To ensure a seamless and effective process, it is crucial to evaluate the precise needs of your laboratory and collaborate with your installation team accordingly.
Imparting Safety Training for Fume Cupboard Users in Schools
Universities and schools are educational institutions that cater to a very diverse range of individuals, including experienced professional laboratory technicians and scientists who are well-versed in the use of fume cupboards, as well as students who may have limited exposure to such equipment and may require additional support.
In order to ensure the safety and well-being of both staff and students, it is crucial to establish a comprehensive set of safety protocols in your school or university. Consider developing an asset list to track each item the school or university possesses where you can record specific information such as location and test data. Holliday Fielding Hocking can help with the formation of this and help simplify systems to run smoothly and efficiently.
We work hand-in-hand with our schools and universities to develop bespoke systems for storage and retrieval of test data which has to be maintained for a minimum of 5 years and we are proud to hold as a company some of the largest university contracts for testing and maintenance in the UK, involving many thousands of pieces of equipment.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) plays a vital role in maintaining a safe environment in your educational settings. However, it is important to note that even with the availability of fume cupboards, operators must undergo extensive training programs to ensure their proper and safe utilisation. These fume cupboards are specifically designed to prevent accidents, but it is the responsibility of the operators to play a pivotal role in their effective operation.
By adhering to the established safety protocols and utilising the necessary PPE, universities and schools can create a secure environment for everyone involved.
Educational institutions should prioritise safety training, which may include courses on proper usage, emergency protocols, and the importance of adhering to established safety guidelines.
The Importance of Maintenance and Commissioning
Ensuring the continuous safety and functionality of fume cupboards is of utmost importance, and this can be achieved through regular maintenance and commissioning.
Following the guidelines set by BS EN 14175 standards for ducted fume cupboards, BS 7989 for recirculating filtered fume cupboards, BS EN 12469 the European Standards for Safety Cabinets, BS EN 14644 for cleanrooms and associated controlled environments and HSG 258 for Other Local Exhaust Ventilated equipment, it is highly recommended to conduct comprehensive tests on ducted and ductless fume cupboards and other equipment at least once every 14 months.
These tests encompass a range of crucial evaluations, including assessing the face velocity, visualising smoke patterns, and checking the alarms and safety mechanisms. By adhering to these routine tests, not only can we guarantee the safety of the fume cupboard, but we can also gather essential data that provides insights into its overall condition. This proactive approach to maintenance ensures that fume cupboards remain in optimal working condition, minimising the risk of any potential hazards.
In the event of a fault, qualified engineers from Holliday Technical Services can promptly repair or replace faulty components. It is worthwhile to point out that all our engineers hold an Enhanced DBS and hold current CSCS cards. Holliday Technical Services are members of Reset (Compliance Systems), Alcumus Safe Contractor, Bsi members, Constructionline Members and are licensed waste carriers. Contact Holliday Technical Services for all of your schools and universities fume cupboard needs.
HTS offers standard service contracts ranging from 12 to 60 months, Ad-hoc servicing and can offer a wide range of replacement Carbon Activated and HEPA filters, spare parts for fume cupboards, replacement fume cupboard fans and motors.
Creating a Safe Learning Environment
To conclude, fume cupboards play a vital role in ensuring safety within university and school laboratories. These specialised enclosures are designed to effectively control and remove hazardous fumes, gases, and vapours, protecting both the students and lab staff from potential harm.
It is essential for educational institutions to have a comprehensive understanding of the various types of fume cupboards available in the market. From ductless fume cupboards to recirculating fume cupboards, each type has its own unique features and benefits.
Moreover, the installation process of fume cupboards should be carried out by experienced professionals such as Holliday Fielding Hocking (HFH) Ltd who are well-versed in the specific requirements and regulations.
This ensures that the fume cupboards are properly installed and function optimally. Additionally, it is crucial for educational institutions to provide adequate training to the lab staff on the proper use and maintenance of fume cupboards. This includes understanding the different safety features, such as airflow monitoring and alarm systems, and knowing how to conduct regular inspections and tests.
Furthermore, the significance of maintenance and commissioning cannot be overstated. Regular maintenance and servicing of fume cupboards are essential to ensure their continued effectiveness and safety. This includes checking and replacing filters, inspecting airflow velocity, and verifying the functionality of safety features. Commissioning, on the other hand, involves a thorough assessment of the fume cupboards' performance and compliance with safety standards before they are put into operation.
By prioritising safety and investing in high-quality fume cupboards, schools and universities can create a secure and suitable environment for students and lab staff to carry out experiments and research. This not only protects the individuals working in the labs but also safeguards the integrity of the experiments and the accuracy of the results obtained.
For more information or to discuss specific requirements, please contact the customer service team at Holliday Fielding Hocking Ltd via phone at +44 (0) 1113 245 4111 or visit our Contact Us page. We have a team of experts who can provide guidance and assistance in selecting the right fume cupboards for your educational institution, as well as offer support in installation, training, maintenance, and commissioning.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult with a qualified specialist for specific guidance regarding your laboratory requirements.