Safety (continued)

  1. Never use suction from your mouth to pipette a chemical. Use a pipette bulb.
  2. Long hair and loose clothing must be tied back or restrained in the lab. Hair and clothes burn!
  3. In case of fire, let everyone know immediately and evacuate the laboratory. If the fire is small, you may engage a partner and use the fire extinguisher together to put the fire out. If the fire is larger, evacuate the building and pull the fire alarm.
  4. If you are on fire, get under the safety shower. If a fellow classmate is on fire, it is also your responsibility to help him or her get under the safety shower.
  5. Know the fire hazards of chemicals you are working with. Never put flammable liquids near an open flame.
  6. Never point an open test tube containing a potential reaction at anyone. Outgassing, sputtering, and even flame can result from chemical reactions.
  7. Keep your work area neat. You are less likely to knock things over if glassware and equipment are not cluttered with books or papers.
  8. Do not force a stopper into a tube or a glass tube into a stopper. If you must put a tube through a stopper, use lubrication such as soap or glycerol and protect your hands with a glove or towel.
  9. Be alert when handling glassware. A hot beaker looks just the same as a cold one, but it hurts a lot more when you touch it.
  10. Know how to dispose of any chemicals or other waste you may generate in your laboratory activities. Waste containers are always provided for toxic or hazardous chemicals. There may be special containers or posters with useful disposal instructions.
  11. Always replace the cap on chemicals when you have removed what you need.
  12. Do not use dirty utensils to remove chemicals from containers. This may contaminate the supply.
  13. Take only what you need, and never return excess chemicals to the container. This helps avoid waste and maintain the purity of the chemical supply for future students.
  14. Clean up before leaving. Wash all used glassware and store it on a drying rack or other facility.
  15. Read the lab investigation carefully before starting. It can be unsafe if you do not follow the written procedure.
  16. If you do not understand a laboratory or safety rule, ask your teacher for clarification.
  17. Before you begin an investigation, have all materials ready, including glassware, safety goggles, electronic balances, chemicals, probes, calculators, and computers.
  18. Plan your laboratory procedure—be familiar with the questions you are being asked, and prepare testable hypotheses! Be ready to carry out your procedure!

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