A researcher finished flame-sealing an ampoule in a chemical fume hood, turning off the torch used and setting it down. While the researcher was storing the ampoule, the hot torch tip ignited a number of lab wipes and rubber stoppers that had been left in the hood, and the cotton insulation on a nearby solvent still containing 1-2L of highly flammable tetrahydrofuran (THF) also ignited.
Learn more about this incident, including lessons learned at Incident Fire NCB Jun2015
Chemical fume hoods help prevent exposure to volatile hazardous chemicals in the lab. The hood works best, though, when it is empty. Everything in the hood disturbs the airflow, so keep extra equipment, chemicals, and other materials to a minimum.
Learn more about using fume hoods for storage in Fume hoods are not storage cabinets.
A researcher was flame-sealing a glass tube using an oxy-gas torch. The tube had been dipped in liquid nitrogen to condense its contents before the sealing operation, so the researcher was using a lab wipe to handle the cold glass. The wipe ignited and fell into the laboratory waste box, which also ignited. The researcher extinguished the resulting fire using a dry-chemical extinguisher mounted in the hallway outside the lab. Neither the fire department nor Security was called, nor was the building fire alarm sounded.
See lessons learned and discussion questions in this Safety Note.