|Safety Procedures - Laboratory Protocol
- Never work alone in or remove chemicals from the lab
- Never perform independent experiments, deviate from the experimental plan, or leave an unattended "experiment in progress" without the specific approval of your instructor.
- Keep chemicals and apparatus well away from the edges of lab bench, fume hood, or other workspace.
- Use fume hoods for all operations in which toxic, corrosive, irritating, or flammable chemicals are involved. Be certain that the hood is operating properly and never put your face inside the lab hood.
- Wipe up quickly all chemical spills and bottle rings.
- If chemicals are spilled on skin or clothing, get to shower immediately to wash off with large amounts of cool water, ignoring common courtesies and any possible embarrassment.
- Always treat lab glassware as if it is fragile and check it regulrly for chips, breaks, or obvious flaws.
- Allow time for glass to cool before touching it and be cautious when inserting or removing glass tubing from a stopper (use lubricant and a towel) in order to avoid burns and serious cuts.
- Suction flasks may explode under vacuum if they are cracked or weakened. Do not tap flasks under vacuum.
- Sweep up broken glass with a brush and dustpan or piece of cardboard. Absorbent cotton held by tongs works well for cleaning up tiny pieces of glass. A towel should not be used.
- Do not use flammable materials near a flame, potential electrical spark (from switches or motors), or exposed heating element.
- Keep solvent container lids closed whenever possible to prevent escaping vapors.
- In the event of fire or explosion, leave the area immediately to appraise the situation. Determine what action you need to take in order to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Try to put out the fire or stop its spread, but call 911 if this cannot be done within a couple minutes.
- When assembling apparatus, be sure that all control valves or switches are accessible, without reaching through the assembly, in event of a fire.
- Do not inhale the gases from a fire or explosion.
- If your clothing catches fire, DO NOT RUN. Use the safety shower, wrap yourself in a fire blanket, or roll on the floor to extinguish the flames.
- Be familiar with type, location, and operation of the nearest fire extinguisher. Approach the fire closely and aim the discharge at the base of the fire. DRY CHEMICAL fire extinguishers are recommended for flammable liquids and electrical fires. NEVER USE WATER ON ELECTRICAL FIRES. Very small laboratory fires may be put out by smothering with a damp towel, dry soda ash, or sand. Report the use of any fire extinguisher to the instructor.