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Ensuring Safety: Fume Hood Installation Best Practices Checklist

By CME Corp Staff | March 5, 2024

Fume hoods play a vital role in protecting laboratory personnel from exposure to hazardous substances. Proper installation of laboratory fume hoods is necessary to ensuring the safety and efficiency of laboratory operations as well as compliance with standards and regulations.

This article discusses best practices for fume hood installation and reviews some common regulations.

Fume Hood Installation: Best Practices Checklist

Installing a fume hood requires planning, adherence to safety guidelines, and attention to detail. Here are some best practices to consider.

Pre-Installation Planning

  • Inspect the installation site to ensure the fume hood location is:
    • more than 10 FT from a door or exit,
    • facing away from high traffic areas,
    • away from tight corners,
    • away from breezes, and
    • unobtrusive to traffic and workflow.
  • Coordinate and maintain communication with other trades involved in the installation process, such as HVAC technicians and electricians.

Equipment Selection

  • Work with medical equipment experts to choose laboratory fume hoods based on the chemicals and testing activities performed by the lab.
  • Evaluate features such as:
  • hood size
  • airflow capacity
  • containment performance
  • safety features

Site Preparation

  • Clear the installation area of any obstacles and ensure the floor is clean, level, and capable of supporting the weight of the fume hood and workstation.
  • Verify all the necessary utility connections, such as electrical power, exhaust ductwork, and plumbing, are in place and meet manufacturers specifications.

Positioning the Fume Hood

  • Coordinate the logistics of transporting the fume hood to the installation site to avoid damage to the unit or injury to installation technicians.
  • At the site secure rigging to help position the fume hood on the workstation, ensuring proper alignment with nearby equipment and the safety of the installer.

Utility Connections

  • Coordinate with licensed electricians to connect the fume hood to electrical power, ensuring the voltage and wiring configuration match the requirements specified by the manufacturer.
  • Install and connect the exhaust ductwork to the fume hood’s exhaust collar, ensuring thorough sealing and perfect alignment to prevent leaks. Proper integration with existing HVAC systems, exhaust ductwork, and airflow controls is critical to proper operation of the hood and compliance with airflow requirements.

Testing and Commissioning

  • Test the airflow, containment, and safety features of the fume hood.
  • Verify all utility connections are functioning correctly.

 Training and Documentation

  • Provide training to laboratory personnel on the proper use, maintenance, and safety procedures associated with the fume hood.
  • Document the installation process, including any adjustments or modifications made, as well as all relevant specifications, certifications, and test results.

Final Inspection and Approval

  • Perform a final inspection of the installed fume hood to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations and standards.
  • Obtain the necessary approvals or certifications from regulatory authorities or building inspectors before putting the fume hood into regular use.

Following best practices like these throughout the installation process ensures the fume hood is safely and efficiently installed in the laboratory environment. If you are unsure about any aspect of the installation, consult with qualified biomedical technicians for guidance.


Laboratory Fume Hood Regulations

Regulations and standards for fume hoods are established to ensure the safety of laboratory staff and compliance with environmental mandates. Here are representative regulations and standards commonly applied to fume hoods.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

While OSHA does not have specific regulations for fume hoods, it does require that employers provide a safe working environment. Safe laboratory environments include the use of appropriate ventilation systems, like fume hoods, to control exposure to hazardous substances.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 110

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 110 outlines the method for testing and evaluating the performance of laboratory fume hoods. It covers aspects such as force velocity, containment, and airflow patterns within the hood.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 45

NFPA 45 provides guidelines for fire protection in laboratories using hazardous materials. While it does not specifically address fume hoods, it does include requirements for ventilation systems which involve the use of fume hoods to control chemical exposure and mitigate fire risks.

International Mechanical Code (IMC) and International Fire Codes (IFC)

The IMC and IFC include regulations related to mechanical ventilation systems, including fume hoods, to ensure adequate ventilation and safety in the laboratory environment.

Local and Institutional Regulations

Additional local and facility regulations and standards may be applied to the installation, operation, and maintenance of fume hoods. It is best practice to review building codes, environmental regulations, and facility safety guidelines before installing fume hoods.

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturers of fume hoods commonly provide specifications and guidelines for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of their laboratory hoods. Adherence to these instructions will ensure safety and optimal performance.

Fume hoods can only effectively protect laboratory staff from chemical exposure if they are professionally installed in accordance with standards set by the manufacturer and regulatory bodies. Selecting qualified biotechnicians to perform the installation is essential.


Partner with CME for Expert Fume Hood Installation

Recently CME’s DTS team installed 13 fume hoods of various sizes and weights for City of Hope in Duarte, Southern California. This complex installation took four hours, a team of nine, and required the use of pallet jacks to maneuver the 1,000-pound hoods through doorways.

With the new facility still under construction, work vehicles needed to be moved away from the receiving area for the 7 am delivery. Like most construction sites, the receiving area was muddy and riddled with potholes making delivery difficult. Inside the partially constructed building CME teams dodged cables dangling from the ceiling and on the floor while moving the heavy hoods to their service locations for installation.

White-glove, Direct-to-Site delivery and installation and Biomedical services have been staples of CME’s turnkey logistics for over 45 years.

We are the only medical equipment distributor with

  • experts focused solely on medical equipment,
  • Direct-to-Site (DTS) delivery and installation teams, and
  • in-house biomedical technicians.

CME’s DTS teams ensure that every piece of medical equipment is delivered undamaged and is assembled and installed in its service location within the facility, on schedule and ready for use.

CME’s Biomedical Engineering Technicians (BMET) perform incoming inspections, electrical safety checks, and functional testing to ensure equipment is operating within OEM specifications.

Supplement your in-house team with CME’s technician team for asset validation, scheduled preventive maintenance, and medical equipment incoming inspections.

CHAT with a CME expert to explore these and other end-to-end services.

About CME: CME Corp is the nation’s premier source for healthcare equipmentturnkey logistics, and biomedical services, representing 2 million+ products from more than 2,000 manufacturers. With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule.

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