Bunsen Burner Safety Guidelines

Overview

Bunsen burners present fire hazards. They produce an open flame and burn at a high temperature, and as a result, there is potential for an accident to occur. For the safety and convenience of everyone working in a laboratory, it is important that the following guidelines be observed. In case of a fire, activate the nearest fire alarm pull station, notify all lab personnel, and evacuate the building.

Procedure

  • Place the Bunsen burner away from any overhead shelving, equipment or light fixtures by at least 12 inches.
  • Remove all papers, notebooks, combustible materials and excess chemicals from the area.
  • Tie-back any long hair, dangling jewelry, or loose clothing.
  • Inspect hose for cracks, holes, pinch points or any defect and ensure that the hose fits securely on the gas valve and the burner.
  • Replace all hoses found to have a defect before using.
  • Notify others in the laboratory that the burner will be in use.
  • Utilize a sparker/lighter with extended nozzle to ignite the burner. Never use a match to ignite a burner.
  • Have the sparker/lighter available before turning on the gas.
  • Adjust the flame by turning the collar to regulate air flow and produce an appropriate flame for the experiment (typically a medium blue flame).
  • Do not leave open flames unattended and never leave the laboratory while the burner is on.
  • Shut off gas when its use is complete.
  • Allow the burner to cool before handling. Ensure that the main gas valve is off before leaving the laboratory.

For more information, contact the Environmental and Occupational Safety Office at x5216.

 
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