Lidstrom:Health & Safety:Bunsen Burner

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Back to Lidstrom Health & Safety

Basics

  • Know where the closest fire extinguisher and shower is.
  • Keep flammable materials more than 1 foot away.
  • Before using flame, consider where fire will spread if it catches.
    • flaming ethanol dripping off the counter onto your lap or your trash?
    • up papers taped above your bench?
  • Wear a lab coat.
    • Though it will catch on fire as easily as most clothing, you will be able to rip it off more easily.
  • Tie hair back if longer than shoulder length.
  • Do not leave flame on unattended.
  • If you turn off your flame briefly, then turn the gas back on the flame will reignite.
    • Don't have turn gas back on with your body, clothes, or flammable materials nearby.

Most Common Ways to Ignite a Fire

  • When sterilizing objects with ethanol + flame
    • If you have a cap for your ethanol container, you can cap it to suffocate the fire.
    • Take time to be careful about suffocating it: you don't want to knock it over.
    • An ice bucket may melt if used to suffocate the fire.

Additional Info

  • The Lidstrom lab doesn't have smoke detectors, we have sprinklers that are activated by heat
    • If turned on, they will spray the whole room (not just your bench)
  • The fire extinguishers release a yellow powder that is essentially ground up rock
    • It is a real pain to clean up. If you have time to move nearby electronics like laptops, you can minimize damage.
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