11 Bunsen Burner Safety Tips Everyone Should Know
A Bunsen burner, named after Robert Bunsen, is a common laboratory equipment producing a single open flame. It is used for heating, sterilization, and combustion. The Bunsen burner is the most essential gas burner used in laboratories. When working in a science lab, it is essential to be aware of the dangers that come with the territory. One of the most common tools in a lab is the Bunsen burner, which can cause serious injury if misused. This blog post will cover 11 tips to help you stay safe using a Bunsen burner!
Bunsen Burner Safety Tips Everyone Should Know
Anyone who has ever used a Bunsen burner knows it can be dangerous if not used properly. Here are 11 safety tips to keep in mind when using a Bunsen burner:
1. Always Use In Well-ventilated Areas
When using a Bunsen burner, it is essential to ensure that the area is well-ventilated. The fumes from the burning can be toxic and cause respiratory problems. Inhaling the fumes can irritate the lungs and airways, and long-term exposure can lead to more severe problems such as bronchitis or lung cancer.
For this reason, it is essential to set up the Bunsen burner in a well-ventilated area and ensure a good flow of fresh air. It is also a good idea to open a window or door to help disperse the fumes.
2. Inspect Bunsen Burner Before Using
Before using a Bunsen burner, it is important to inspect it to ensure that it is in good working order. Check the metal tube for cracks or holes, and ensure the connection to the gas source is secure. In addition, look for any signs of corrosion or damage. If you find any problems, do not use the Bunsen burner and contact your supervisor.
By taking a few moments to inspect your Bunsen burner, you can help to prevent accidents and ensure that your experiments are conducted safely.
3. Never Leave Unattended
One of the most important safety rules is never leaving a Bunsen burner unattended while lit. If you need to step away, turn it off first. Bunsen burners can be turned off by rotating the knob until the flame goes out.
If you are working with a Bunsen burner with bellows, make sure to release the pressure before turning it off. Once the Bunsen burner is turned off, wait a few minutes for it to cool down before moving it or relighting it.
4. Wear Proper Safety Gear
It’s important always to wear the proper safety gear when working with a Bunsen burner. This includes gloves, goggles, and a lab coat. The gloves protect your hands from the flame’s heat, while the goggles protect your eyes from the bright light. The lab coat helps to protect your clothing from any sparks or splashes that might occur.
5. Ignite With Sparker
When lighting a Bunsen burner, it is important to use the accompanying sparker, not a lighter or match. The sparker is a small metal device that creates a spark when pressed. This spark ignites the gas from the Bunsen burner, ensuring that the flame is steady and controlled. On the other hand, lighters and matches can create an uncontrolled flame that may be too strong for certain experiments.
In addition, using a sparker is safer than using a naked flame, as there is less risk of burns. For these reasons, it is always best to use the sparker when lighting a Bunsen burner.
6. Tie back Any Long Hair, Dangling Jewelry, Or Loose Clothing.
Before using a Bunsen burner, it is essential to tie back any long hair, remove any dangling jewelry, and secure any loose clothing. This will help to prevent accidents by keeping your hair and clothing away from the flame.
7. Use Caution When Lighting
Bunsen burners are a common piece of laboratory equipment but can also be dangerous if misused. Before lighting a Bunsen burner, ensure that the area around the burner is clear of any flammable materials. Bunsen burners produce a hot flame to ignite many common materials, so it is essential to exercise caution when using them.
8. 12 Inches Of Clearance
Working with a Bunsen burner can be a great way to heat a sample or perform a chemical reaction. However, it’s essential to take precautions to prevent fire risk. Always use the Bunsen burner on a heat-resistant surface, and make sure there is at least 12 inches of overhead clearance.
9. Know The Location Of The Fire Extinguisher & Wash Station
Always know the location of the nearest fire extinguisher and wash station, and ensure you know how to use them both before you start working with a bunsen burner. In the event of a fire, never try to put it out with water; always use an extinguisher. And if you spill any chemicals on your skin, always wash the area immediately and thoroughly with soap and water.
10. Don’t Touch The Flame
Bunsen burners are one of the most commonly used lab equipment but can also be the most dangerous. If not used properly, Bunsen burners can cause severe burns. One way to prevent this is never to touch the flame with your bare hands. Always use a Bunsen burner tube or tongs to adjust the flame.
If you accidentally touch the flame, run cool water over the area for at least five minutes. Seek medical attention if the pain persists, or the area starts to swell.
11. Turn Off The Gas After Use
After you have finished using the Bunsen burner, it is essential to turn off the gas. Depending on the model of the bunsen burner, this may be done by turning a knob or wheel on the side of the base or lifting the metal tube that supplies gas. Once the gas is off, check to see that the flame has gone out.
If it has not, then you can gently blow it out. Be careful not to touch the parts of the burner that are hot. Once you have turned off the gas and extinguished the flame, you can clean up your work area.
Bunsen burners are a versatile and essential piece of equipment in many laboratories. However, they can also be dangerous if misused. These simple safety tips can help ensure your safety when working with Bunsen burners.