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Fume Cupboard FAQs

Unlock the secrets of fume cupboard safety with our comprehensive Fume Cupboard FAQs guide. From operation and maintenance to regulatory compliance, we've got you covered. Ensure your lab's safety with Holliday Technical Services.

Your Fume Cupboard Questions, Answered

Fume cupboards are essential safety equipment in laboratories, protecting personnel from hazardous fumes, vapours, and dust. Ensuring their proper function and compliance with safety standards is paramount to maintaining a secure work environment. That's why we've compiled this comprehensive fume cupboard FAQs guide, addressing all your questions about fume cupboard testing, maintenance, operation, and safety regulations.

Whether you're a seasoned lab professional or new to working with fume cupboards, this resource will provide you with valuable insights and expert advice. We cover everything from the basic principles of fume cupboard operation to advanced testing procedures, ensuring you have the knowledge to make informed decisions regarding your lab's safety.

Our Fume Cupboard FAQs section is designed to be your one-stop shop for all things fume cupboard-related. We've carefully curated questions based on common enquiries from lab users, ensuring you'll find answers to your most pressing concerns. You'll learn about the different types of fume cupboards, their applications, and the specific hazards they mitigate.

We'll also delve into the importance of regular testing and maintenance, explaining the various tests performed to ensure your fume cupboard operates at peak efficiency. You'll gain an understanding of why annual testing is crucial for compliance with safety regulations and how it contributes to a safer work environment.

Additionally, we'll provide practical tips on proper fume cupboard operation, including safe work practices, sash height management, and cleaning procedures. You'll learn how to handle spills and emergencies, ensuring you're prepared for any situation.

Our guide also covers the regulatory landscape, explaining the relevant British Standards (BS EN 14175) that govern fume cupboard design, construction, and performance. You'll understand the legal requirements for fume cupboard testing and maintenance, ensuring your lab remains compliant.

With this fume cupboard FAQs guide, we aim to empower you with the knowledge and resources necessary to maintain a safe and efficient laboratory environment. Whether you're seeking answers to specific questions or looking for a comprehensive overview of fume cupboard safety, this guide has you covered.

We encourage you to explore this resource and contact Holliday Technical Services for any further assistance or enquiries. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing top-notch fume cupboard testing, maintenance, and support services, ensuring your lab operates at the highest safety standards.

Fume Cupboard FAQs - Expert guidance for safe and compliant laboratories

Fume Cupboard Functionality & Testing FAQs

Get expert answers to your questions about ensuring the safety and performance of your fume cupboard.

Fume Cupboard Safety Precautions & Best Practices FAQs

Master essential safety protocols and expert tips for working with fume cupboards.

Fume Cupboard Usage & Applications FAQs

Learn how to use your fume cupboard safely and effectively for a variety of laboratory applications.

Fume Cupboard Operation & Maintenance FAQS

Discover best practices for keeping your fume cupboard running smoothly and safely.

Fume Cupboard Theoretical & Regulatory FAQs

Understand the science behind fume cupboards and the regulations that govern their use.

Ductless Fume Cupboard FAQs

Explore the benefits and considerations of filter-based fume cupboards for your laboratory.

Fume Cupboards In Schools FAQs

Get answers to common questions about using and maintaining fume cupboards in educational settings.

PAT Testing For Schools & Laboratories FAQs

Ensure the electrical safety of your appliances and equipment with expert guidance.

Fume Cupboard Functionality & Testing FAQs

What is fume cupboard testing?

Fume cupboard testing plays a crucial role in safeguarding laboratory personnel and upholding safety regulations. These specialised enclosures are designed to control and contain hazardous fumes, vapours, and gases, and regular testing is essential to ensure they function optimally.

A Comprehensive Evaluation:

Testing encompasses various measures to assess crucial performance indicators:

  • Airflow: Evaluating the rate and consistency of air drawn into the fume cupboard, ensuring effective capture of contaminants.
  • Containment Efficiency: Quantifying the ability of the fume cupboard to prevent hazardous substances from escaping into the laboratory environment.
  • Gas Escape: Identifying any potential leaks or breaches in the system that could compromise containment.
  • Robustness: Assessing the structural integrity and functionality of the fume cupboard under various operating conditions.

Beyond Legal Compliance:

While mandated by regulations like COSHH in the UK, regular testing extends beyond mere compliance. It provides:

  • Peace of Mind: Verifying the safety and effectiveness of fume cupboards, protecting personnel from harmful exposure.
  • Confidence in Research: Ensuring accurate and reliable results by minimising contamination risks.
  • Cost Savings: Early detection of potential issues prevents costly repairs and downtime.
  • Regulatory Adherence: Staying compliant with relevant safety standards and avoiding potential penalties.

By partnering with qualified professionals like HTS for regular fume cupboard testing, laboratories can prioritise safety, optimise research integrity, and achieve cost-effective compliance.

Why Fume Cupboard Testing is Vital for Your Laboratory?

Fume cupboard testing is not just a regulatory requirement, it's an essential investment in the safety, performance, and overall well-being of your laboratory. Here's why:

1. Prioritising Personnel Safety:

  • Fume cupboards are your front line of defence against hazardous fumes, vapours, and gases. Regular testing ensures they function optimally, protecting personnel from harmful exposure and minimising health risks.

2. Ensuring Compliance and Confidence:

  • Testing upholds compliance with strict standards like BS EN 14175, demonstrating a commitment to safe working environments and avoiding potential penalties. This instills confidence in both regulatory bodies and your workforce.

3. Optimising Equipment Performance:

  • Testing goes beyond compliance, providing valuable insights into airflow, containment efficiency, and overall robustness. This ensures your fume cupboards operate at peak performance, delivering reliable results and minimising operational issues.

4. Proactive Risk Management:

  • Early detection of problems through testing allows for timely interventions. This prevents costly repairs, downtime, and potentially dangerous accidents or leaks that could impact personnel, the lab, or the environment.

5. Validating Design and Installation:

  • Testing confirms that your fume cupboards are properly designed, installed, and equipped, providing the intended level of protection. This guarantees the effectiveness of your ventilation system and the safety of everyone within the lab.

6. Enhancing Quality Assurance:

  • When done by a reputable and accredited testing provider like HTS, you gain the assurance that your fume cupboards have undergone thorough evaluations and meet industry-recognised standards. This fosters trust and peace of mind for lab owners, operators, and personnel alike.

Investing in regular fume cupboard testing is not just an obligation, it's a wise decision that safeguards your people, your processes, and your reputation.

Can HTS test any make and model of fume cupboard?

Yes, HTS has the expertise and equipment to test almost any make and model of fume cupboard. Our testing procedures meticulously follow the recognised European standard BS EN 14175, ensuring comprehensive evaluation regardless of manufacturer or model.

Why Choose HTS for Your Fume Cupboard Testing?

  • Universal Compatibility: We possess the experience and tools to handle diverse makes and models, ensuring seamless testing for your specific equipment.
  • Rigorous Standards: Our tests adhere to the strict criteria of BS EN 14175, guaranteeing thorough assessment of performance and containment, exceeding recommended standards.
  • On-Site Convenience: For your comfort, we offer onsite testing throughout the UK, minimising disruption to your laboratory operations.
  • Unmatched Expertise: Our team of highly trained and qualified engineers provides exceptional service and insightful reports, giving you complete confidence in the results.

More Than Just Make and Model:

Beyond our ability to test various makes and models, HTS offers several additional advantages:

  • Bespoke Testing: We cater to unique needs, offering customised testing and reporting protocols beyond standard procedures.
  • Comprehensive Services: We go beyond testing, providing maintenance, commissioning, and new fume cupboard consultation, serving as your one-stop shop.
  • Industry Accolades: Our commitment to quality is recognised by accreditations like SafeContractor and BSI, reinforcing our expertise and reliability.

Contact HTS Today:

Don't let the make and model of your fume cupboards be a concern. Trust HTS for comprehensive, professional, and convenient testing across the UK. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and experience the peace of mind that comes with expert fume cupboard testing.

How do you test the functionality of a fume cupboard? 

Regular testing is essential to ensure the safe operation of your fume cupboard. This typically includes a series of tests:

    • Face velocity tests: Measuring the speed of air entering the hood to verify it's capturing fumes effectively.
    • Smoke visualisation tests: Using smoke to visually confirm that the hood contains fumes and prevents them from escaping into the lab.
    • Alarm function checks: Testing the hood's alarm system to ensure it alerts users to any malfunctions or unsafe conditions.

Holliday Technical Services (HTS) offers comprehensive fume cupboard testing services, employing qualified technicians who meticulously perform these tests. Their detailed reports provide valuable insights into your hood's performance and highlight any areas needing attention, ensuring your equipment meets or exceeds safety standards.

How to test a fume hood? 

Simple tests like checking airflow indicators, alarms, and inspecting for visible damage can be done before each use. However, for a thorough assessment of your fume hood's performance, it's crucial to rely on professional testing.

HTS technicians have the expertise and specialised equipment to conduct a full range of tests, including containment testing, air velocity profiling, and alarm calibration.

How to calibrate a fume hood? 

Calibration involves adjusting the fume hood's controls to maintain optimal face velocity, ensuring effective containment. This process is typically performed by qualified technicians during annual testing and may involve adjusting the hood's exhaust system.

HTS technicians are well-versed in fume hood calibration and can help optimise your hood's performance for maximum safety and efficiency.


UK regulations, specifically the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), mandate that fume cupboards in pharmaceutical laboratories undergo a thorough examination and testing at least every 14 months. This ensures that your fume cupboards consistently operate at peak performance, effectively containing and removing hazardous pharmaceutical substances, and safeguarding the health and safety of your research personnel.

Increased Frequency for High-Risk Labs

Pharmaceutical labs handling particularly high-risk compounds or utilising fume cupboards frequently may require more frequent testing to maintain optimal safety standards. It's crucial to assess your specific laboratory practices and consult with experts to determine the appropriate testing schedule for your facility.

Holliday Technical Services: Your Partner in Pharmaceutical Fume Cupboard Safety

Holliday Technical Services specialises in fume cupboard testing and maintenance for the pharmaceutical industry in the UK. We understand the unique challenges and regulatory requirements of pharmaceutical labs and are committed to ensuring your fume cupboards operate safely and effectively. Contact us to discuss your specific needs and develop a testing schedule that meets your lab's unique requirements.

Fume Cupboard Safety precautions & best practices FAQs

What precautions should be taken during fume cupboard use?

HTS emphasises the following safety measures:

  • Always wear appropriate PPE: This may include lab coats, safety glasses, gloves, and respirators, depending on the specific chemicals being handled.
  • Work at least 15cm inside the hood: This ensures that fumes are captured effectively and minimises the risk of exposure.
  • Keep the sash at the recommended height: The sash height is crucial for maintaining proper airflow and containment.
  • Avoid storing chemicals or equipment in the hood: This can disrupt airflow and compromise the hood's performance.

Holliday Technical Services offers all laboratories, educational institutions and industry full fume cupboard testing and maintenance services. Trust HTS to take care of annual or ad-hoc fume cupboard testing.

Which of the following must you check before using a fume cupboard?

HTS recommends a thorough pre-use check that includes:

  • Airflow indicator: Ensure the airflow is within the safe operating range.
  • Alarms: Verify that the hood's alarms are functioning correctly.
  • Visual inspection: Check for any visible damage, obstructions, or spills.
  • Chemical compatibility: Review the safety data sheets for the chemicals you'll be using and ensure the hood is suitable for their specific hazards.

HTS specialise in fume cupboard testing in the UK. Contact us for ad-hoc or scheduled fume cupboard maintenance and fume hood testing.

What is the best practice for fume cupboard use?

HTS promotes best practices to maximise safety and efficiency:

  • Minimise chemical use: Use the smallest amount of chemicals necessary for your experiments.
  • Keep work areas tidy: Avoid clutter, as this can disrupt airflow and make spills more difficult to contain.
  • Never block vents: Ensure that the hood's vents are clear of obstructions.
  • Clean spills promptly: Address spills immediately to prevent the spread of contamination.
  • Work with the sash at the lowest safe height: This maximises containment while still allowing for comfortable operation.

As fume cupboard testing and maintenance specialists Holliday Technical Services offer a comprehensive range of fume cupboard services including fume cupboard maintenance, fume cupboard repair, fume cupboard commissioning and a range of replacement fume cupboard parts including fume cupboard filters, airflow monitoring and replacement fume hood fans. Contact HTS for all of your fume cupboard servicing needs.

What three things should you check before using a fume hood?

The three key things to check are:

  1. Airflow indicator: Is the airflow within the safe operating range?
  2. Alarms: Are the alarms functioning properly?
  3. Visible condition: Is there any visible damage or obstruction to the hood?

HTS are UK Based fume cupboard testing specialists, contact us about your fume hood testing needs.

What rules should be followed to properly use a fume hood?

Some essential rules for safe fume hood operation include:

  • Keep the sash at the recommended height.
  • Work at least 15cm inside the hood.
  • Avoid storing chemicals or equipment in the hood.
  • Always wear appropriate PPE.
  • Never block vents.
  • Clean spills promptly.

Remember, all fume cupboards need to be tested at least every 14 months, or sooner as determined by use. Consider reaching out to Holliday Technical Services for your fume cupboard testing.

Why must you work in a fume cupboard?

Fume cupboards protect users from inhaling hazardous fumes, vapours, and dust generated during experiments. They provide a controlled environment, venting harmful substances away from the work area and minimising the risk of exposure.

HTS understands the importance of this protection and provides expert testing and maintenance to ensure your fume cupboard functions optimally. 

What safety things should you check before you use a fume cupboard?

Before using a fume cupboard, ensure:

  • Airflow: The airflow indicator is in the safe operating range.
  • Alarms: The audible and visual alarms are functioning correctly.
  • No damage or obstructions: The hood is free of visible damage, spills, or obstructions.
  • Sash height: The sash is at the correct operating height.
  • Chemical compatibility: The hood is suitable for the specific chemicals you will be working with.

HTS can provide full servicing for fume cupboards and support to help you understand these safety checks and ensure your fume cupboard is operating safely.

What PPE should always be worn when working in a fume hood?

The specific PPE required will vary depending on the chemicals being used. However, some general guidelines include:

    • Lab coat: To protect your clothing from chemical spills.
    • Safety glasses: To protect your eyes from splashes and fumes.
    • Gloves: To protect your hands from chemicals.
    • Respirator: May be necessary for certain hazardous substances.

HTS can help you comply with your obligations under COSHH and offer full fume cupboard testing for UK laboratories, schools, colleges, universities and industry.

What should you check for before using a fume hood?

Before each use, check:

  • Airflow indicator: Ensure the airflow is within the safe operating range.
  • Alarms: Verify that the audible and visual alarms are functioning correctly.
  • Sash: Ensure the sash is at the correct operating height.
  • Obstructions: Check that there are no obstructions in the hood.
  • Spills: Clean up any spills before starting work.

HTS are UK based fume cupboard servicing specialists, contact us for a quotation on your fume cupboard testing, maintenance or repairs.


Our highly trained engineers meticulously inspect and test your pharmaceutical fume cupboards, adhering to the stringent standards set out in BS EN 14175-4:2004, BS 7989 and HSG 258. This comprehensive assessment includes:

  • Thorough Visual Inspection: A meticulous examination of all fume cupboard components, identifying any signs of damage, wear, or potential hazards specific to pharmaceutical applications.

  • Precise Airflow Measurement: Accurate measurement of the face velocity and airflow patterns within the fume cupboard, ensuring optimal containment of hazardous pharmaceutical substances and compliance with regulatory requirements.

  • Pharmaceutical Expertise: Our engineers possess in-depth knowledge of the unique demands of pharmaceutical laboratories, allowing them to tailor the testing process to the specific substances and processes used in your facility.

By adhering to these rigorous standards and leveraging our extensive experience in pharmaceutical fume cupboard testing, we guarantee the safety, compliance, and optimal performance of your critical equipment. Trust Holliday Technical Services, with over 18 years of experience, to safeguard your pharmaceutical research and ensure the well-being of your staff. Contact Us 


The potential hazards of decommissioned fume cupboards depend heavily on the materials and processes they were used for. At HTS, we prioritise safety throughout the decommissioning process, ensuring responsible handling and minimising risks.

Understanding Potential Hazards:

  • Chemical Residues: Fume cupboards used with hazardous chemicals may require thorough decontamination before they are considered safe for reuse or disposal.
  • Radioisotopes and Perchloric Acid: Specific protocols outlined in your lab guidelines should be strictly followed for decommissioning fume cupboards exposed to these materials.
  • Asbestos-Containing Materials: Older fume cupboards may contain asbestos, requiring specialised removal by qualified personnel if detected. HTS can advise on asbestos disposal as required.

HTS's Safe Decommissioning Approach:

  • Expert Assessment: Our qualified team carefully assesses each fume cupboard, considering its history and potential hazards.
  • Tailored Decontamination: We employ appropriate decontamination methods based on the identified risks, utilising a solution of NaHCO3   to neutralise acids and personal  protective equipment.
  • Compliance with Regulations: We adhere to all relevant regulations and guidelines for safe fume cupboard decommissioning, ensuring environmental and personnel safety.

Beyond Safety:

  • Waste Management: We handle and dispose of waste materials responsibly, following strict regulations in accordance with our licensed waste carriers certificate. Registration Number: CBDU133562.
  • Recycling Opportunities: Where possible, we explore opportunities to recycle components, promoting sustainability and minimising environmental impact.
  • Refurbished Equipment: We offer high-quality, refurbished fume cupboards incorporating where possible components responsibly sourced from decommissioned units, providing eco-friendly alternatives.

Contact HTS Today:

Don't underestimate the importance of safe and responsible fume cupboard decommissioning. Partner with HTS to ensure your process adheres to the highest safety standards, minimises environmental impact, and explores potential opportunities for reuse or refurbishment of your fume cupboards.

Fume Cupboard Usage & Applications FAQs


A fume cupboard is a special type of ventilated cabinet designed to protect staff and researchers from harmful fumes during science experiments.

There are two distinct types of fume cupboard and many variations. In essence a fume cupboard works like a powerful fan, drawing in contaminated air, filtering it using a specialised filter, and then recirculating it back into the room in the case of ductless filtered fume cupboards, or in the case of a ducted fume cupboard drawing in the air and safely releasing the air outside the building via ductwork usually positioned above the cabinet and venting on to a roof or outside wall.

It's important to make sure the lab has proper ventilation so the fume cupboard can function effectively.

Contact HTS about our fume cupboard testing service or about purchasing new fume cupboards, select refurbished fume cupboards, fume cupboard replacement parts including airflow monitoring devices and replacement fume cupboard carbon activated, HEPA or ULPA filter.

Why should an experiment be done in a fume cupboard?

Experiments involving hazardous substances should always be conducted in a fume cupboard to:

  • Protect personnel: Fume cupboards safeguard users from inhaling harmful fumes, vapours, or dust.
  • Contain spills: They help contain spills and reactions, preventing the spread of contamination.
  • Control exposure: They provide a controlled environment for handling hazardous materials.

HTS recognises the importance of fume cupboards in protecting laboratory personnel and can advise on the appropriate type of fume cupboard for your specific experiments.

Why is heating done in a fume cupboard?

Heating can release fumes or vapours that may be harmful if inhaled. A fume cupboard provides a safe, controlled environment for heating experiments, ensuring that any hazardous substances are captured and vented away from the work area.

HTS can provide support on the best model fume cupboard for your laboratory use. Contact HTS to speak to one of our technical team.

Why is electrolysis carried out in a fume cupboard? 

Electrolysis can produce flammable gases like hydrogen and oxygen. A fume cupboard provides the necessary ventilation and containment to prevent the accumulation of these gases, reducing the risk of fire or explosion.

Which of the following should a fume cupboard not be used for?

Fume cupboards should not be used for:

  • Storing chemicals or equipment: This can disrupt airflow and compromise containment.
  • Handling highly explosive substances: Special explosion-proof hoods are required for such materials.
  • Experiments that generate excessive heat: Excessive heat can damage the hood and compromise its performance.

HTS are UK fume cupboard testing specialists. Contact us for a quotation for your annual service of your fume cupboards, biological safety cabinets and other Local Exhaust Ventilated equipment.

What chemicals are handled in fume hood?

Fume hoods are designed to handle a wide range of hazardous chemicals, including:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): These include solvents, paints, and adhesives.
  • Acids and bases: These corrosive substances can release harmful fumes.
  • Reactive substances: These chemicals can react with other substances to produce hazardous by-products.

HTS can assess your specific chemical usage and recommend the appropriate type of fume cupboard for your needs. We offer a vast range of new ducted fume cupboards, ductless filtered fume hoods, laminar flow cabinets, class II biological safety cabinets, vented enclosures, downflow workstations and much more. Visit https://www.labfumecupboards.com to explore our full range.

For annual fume cupboard testing, repairs or removal of redundant fume cupboards contact HTS.

What type of chemicals should be heated in a fume hood?

Any chemical that releases harmful fumes, vapours, or dust when heated should be handled in a fume hood. This includes many organic solvents, acids, and certain reactive compounds.

HTS can help you identify the chemicals that require the use of a fume cupboard for safe handling. We offer a UK wide fume cupboard maintenance and testing service for all laboratories, schools, universities, and industry.


At HTS, we believe in responsible waste management and minimising environmental impact. That's why we're proud to offer fume cupboard and ductwork recycling services as part of our commitment to sustainability.

Can Fume Cupboards and Ductwork Be Recycled?

Absolutely! Our licensed waste carrier team is trained to expertly dismantle and segregate fume cupboard components. We strive to reuse as many parts as possible, extending the lifespan of valuable materials and reducing the need for new production.

Benefits of Recycling with HTS:

  • Environmental Responsibility: Divert waste from landfills and minimise your laboratory's environmental footprint.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Reduce disposal costs by opting for responsible recycling over traditional methods.
  • Part Availability: Our extensive inventory of used parts for older, no-longer-manufactured fume cupboards can help you source replacement components easily and affordably.
  • Sustainable Laboratory Practices: Showcase your commitment to eco-friendly operations by choosing a responsible waste management partner.

Our Recycling Process:

  • Expert Dismantling: Our meticulous process ensures careful separation of reusable components from waste materials.
  • Component Cleaning and Refurbishment: Reusable parts are thoroughly cleaned and refurbished to meet stringent quality standards.
  • Responsible Waste Disposal: Any non-reusable materials are disposed of responsibly and in accordance with regulations.

Beyond Recycling:

  • Refurbished Fume Cupboards: We offer a broad range of high-quality, refurbished fume cupboards created using carefully selected reused components, providing a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to new equipment.
  • Ongoing Support: Our team is available to advise on optimal recycling practices and guide you through the process seamlessly.

Contact HTS Today:

Choose HTS for your fume cupboard and ductwork recycling needs and experience the benefits of sustainability, cost savings, and access to valuable used parts. We're committed to helping laboratories operate responsibly and contribute to a greener future.

Fume Cupboard Operation & Maintenance FAQs 

How to operate a fume hood?

Proper operation is crucial for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of your fume hood.

Follow these steps:

  1. Turn on the exhaust fan: Start the exhaust fan and allow it to run for a few minutes before beginning work.
  2. Check airflow: Verify that the airflow indicator shows the correct reading, indicating proper ventilation. HTS technicians can ensure your hood's airflow monitor is functioning properly.
  3. Lower the sash: Lower the sash to the recommended working height. This is usually indicated by markings on the hood.
  4. Place materials inside: Place your materials and equipment at least 15cm inside the hood to ensure adequate containment.
  5. Work safely: Perform your experiment, following all safety protocols.
  6. Raise the sash: After completing your work, raise the sash to its fully closed position.
  7. Turn off the fan (if applicable): Some fume hoods have automatic fans that turn off after a certain period of inactivity.
  8. Clean up: Wipe down all surfaces and remove any spills or debris.

Holliday Technical Services can provide comprehensive fume cupboard testing and maintenance to ensure your fume cupboards are operating safely and efficiently and comply with UK legislation on annual fume cupboard testing. Our technicians are highly trained, hold current Enhanced DBS checks and provide fume cupboard testing throughout the UK from Land's End to John O'Groats.

How do you maintain a fume cupboard?

Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring optimal fume cupboard performance and longevity.

Here are some key maintenance tasks:

  • Cleaning: Regularly clean the interior and exterior surfaces of the fume hood using appropriate cleaning solutions. HTS can recommend cleaning products and procedures that are safe and effective for your specific hood model.
  • Inspection: Inspect the hood for any signs of damage, leaks, or wear and tear.
  • Filter replacement: If your hood has filters, replace them according to the manufacturer's recommendations or when they become saturated. HTS offers filter replacement services to ensure your fume hood operates efficiently.
  • Professional maintenance: Schedule annual professional maintenance and testing with HTS to ensure your fume hood meets regulatory standards and operates at peak performance.

What to do if fume hood fails?

If your fume hood malfunctions or the airflow indicator shows an abnormal reading, take the following steps:

  • Stop work immediately: Cease all activities in the fume hood.
  • Inform your supervisor or safety officer: Report the issue to the relevant personnel.
  • Do not use the fume hood: Avoid using the fume hood until it has been inspected and repaired by a qualified technician.

HTS offers prompt repair services for fume cupboards throughout the UK, to minimise downtime and ensure your fume cupboard(s) are back in operation as quickly as possible.

What should never go in the fume hood?

Avoid storing chemicals or equipment in the fume hood, as this can disrupt airflow and compromise containment. Additionally, do not use the fume hood for experiments that generate excessive heat or involve highly explosive substances.

What is not suitable for A fume hood?

Experiments involving radioactive materials, perchloric acid, or those generating excessive heat or large quantities of flammable gases may not be suitable for standard fume hoods.

Special fume hoods with additional safety features are required for such applications. HTS can help you determine the appropriate type of fume cupboard for your specific needs.


While regular maintenance and testing can significantly extend the lifespan of your fume cupboards, there are situations where replacement becomes necessary to ensure optimal safety and performance in your pharmaceutical lab:

  1. Failed Safety Tests: If your fume cupboard consistently fails safety tests despite regular maintenance and filter replacements, it's a strong indicator that it may no longer be effectively protecting your personnel and research.
  2. Obsolete Technology: Older fume cupboards may lack the advanced safety features and energy efficiency of newer models. Upgrading to a modern fume cupboard can enhance safety, reduce operating costs, and improve the overall performance of your lab.
  3. Significant Damage or Wear: Extensive damage or wear to critical components like the sash, liner, or motor can compromise the fume cupboard's ability to contain hazardous substances. In such cases, replacement may be more cost-effective than repeated repairs.
  4. Changing Research Needs: If your pharmaceutical research involves new or different hazardous substances, your existing fume cupboard may not be adequately equipped to handle them. Upgrading to a model with specialised features or filtration systems can ensure proper containment and protection.
  5. Age: Fume cupboards typically have a lifespan of 10-15 years, depending on usage and maintenance. If your fume cupboard is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, proactive replacement can prevent unexpected breakdowns and safety risks.

Holliday Technical Services can assess your existing fume cupboards and provide expert recommendations on whether repair, maintenance, or replacement is the most appropriate course of action for your UK pharmaceutical lab. Our sister company Holliday Fielding Hocking Ltd is a UK specialist supplier of new fume cupboards and quality refurbished fume cupboards. They are the original fume cupboard provider serving the UK for over 5 generations.


In the UK, the answer depends on two factors:

  • Legally: The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations 9 require thorough examination and testing of local exhaust systems (including fume cupboards) at least every 14 months.
  • Your specific usage: High-risk situations, as identified by risk assessments, may require more frequent testing. Additionally, you should conduct regular in-house inspections based on the unit's usage (hours per day, chemicals used).

Remember: Fume cupboard malfunctions can put lives at risk. To be extra cautious, HTS offers Scheduled Maintenance Plans to ensure your fume hoods are always tested and maintained on time.


Keeping your fume cupboards safe and compliant:

Regular inspections and cleaning are crucial for safe and efficient fume cupboard operation. Here's a breakdown of routine maintenance to follow:


Cleanliness: Use mild disinfectant cleaner on outer surfaces, chemical neutraliser on the inner cabinet and base, and glass cleaner on the sash.
Sealant and fixtures: Check and clean sealant around drip cups, sinks, and wastes. Inspect service valves and outlets for leaks or damage.
Mobile and semi-mobile units: For mobile cupboards, check the pre-filter and main filter(s). For semi-mobile units, visually inspect the flexible ductwork.


Deep clean: Remove and clean the back baffle with a chemical neutraliser. Clean the interior chamber surface.
Mobile cupboards: Replace the pre-filter and inspect/replace main filter (if needed).
Semi-mobile units: Re-inspect the flexible ductwork.


Thorough examination and testing: As required by COSHH regulations, a competent person must conduct a thorough examination and testing of the fume cupboard at least every 14 months.

By following these fume cupboard maintenance steps, you can ensure your fume cupboards are operating effectively and complying with safety regulations. Remember, always isolate electrical and mechanical services before cleaning or maintenance, and prioritise chemical safety throughout the process.

Fume Cupboard Theoretical & Regulatory FAQs

What are the principles of fume cupboard?

Fume cupboards work by capturing and exhausting hazardous fumes, vapours, or dust through a ventilation system. The airflow creates a barrier, preventing harmful substances from entering the work area. This negative pressure environment draws air (and contaminants) in through the opening and exhausts it through a filter or duct system, ensuring a safe working environment.

HTS understands these principles and applies them to their rigorous testing and maintenance procedures. We offer a wide range of fume cupboard services including fume cupboard testing, fume cupboard repair and replacement fume cupboard parts including fume cupboard filters for laboratories, schools, universities and industry in the UK.

What are 2 functions of a fume cupboard in the laboratory?

The primary functions of a fume cupboard are:

  1. To protect personnel: By capturing and removing harmful fumes, vapours, and dust, fume cupboards safeguard users from exposure to hazardous substances.
  2. To contain spills and prevent contamination: Fume cupboards provide a controlled environment, minimising the risk of spills and preventing the spread of contamination in the lab.

HTS are fume cupboard maintenance and testing specialists based in the UK and provide onsite services to laboratories, schools, universities and industry. Trust HTS for your fume cupboard servicing, contact us for a quotation

What are the hazards of fume cupboards?

If not properly maintained or used incorrectly, fume cupboards can become a source of exposure to hazardous substances. Leaks, inadequate airflow, or improper use can compromise their effectiveness.

HTS mitigates these risks through regular testing, maintenance, and user training, contact us to learn more.

What is the fume cupboard principle?

The fume cupboard operates on the principle of creating a negative pressure environment within the hood. This is achieved by a fan that draws air into the hood through the front opening, creating a barrier that prevents fumes from escaping into the lab.

The contaminated air is then exhausted through a filtration or duct system, ensuring a safe working environment for users.

Holliday Technical Services leverages this principle when testing and calibrating fume cupboards, ensuring the negative pressure is sufficient to contain hazardous substances effectively. Reach out to HTS about your fume cupboard testing. Supplying UK laboratories, education and industry for over 18 years.

What is the British standard for fume cupboards?

The relevant British Standard for fume cupboards is BS EN 14175. This comprehensive standard outlines requirements for the design, construction, performance, and testing of fume cupboards. It covers aspects like face velocity, containment, materials of construction, and alarm systems.

Additional Relevant Standards: We are proficient in conducting tests based on specific needs and equipment types, including:

  • Schools Fume Cupboards (G9 / BB:88): Ensuring safety in educational settings.
  • Filtered Fume Cupboards (BS 7989:2001): Verifying the performance of filter-based systems.
  • Mobile Fume Cupboard (Various Standards): Adhering to appropriate standards for portable units.
  • COSHH Testing (HSG258): Assessing compliance with UK regulations on the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health.
  • LEV Testing (HSG258): Evaluating Local Exhaust Ventilation systems for optimal performance.
  • Thorough LEV Testing (HSG258): Conducting in-depth assessments for complex systems.
  • Extraction Hood Testing (HSG258): Ensuring effective capture of contaminants at the source.
  • Containment Testing (BS EN 14175): Measuring the ability of your fume cupboard to prevent hazardous substances from escaping.
  • Commissioning / Re-Commissioning (Various Standards): Verifying proper installation and functionality after installation or updates.

HTS technicians are well-versed in these standard and ensure that your fume cupboard complies with all its requirements. HTS technicians have undertaken P600/P601 training, which covers the theory and practice for LEV practitioners to undertake the maintenance, examinations and testing of LEV plant equipment, asbestos awareness, in-house training and we are members of: Bsi, Reset, Constructionline and SafeContractor.

How often should a fume hood be inspected?

Regular inspections are crucial for maintaining fume cupboard safety and performance. HTS recommends the following inspection schedule:

  • Before each use: Conduct a brief visual inspection to ensure the fume hood is in good working order, checking the airflow indicator, alarms, and for any visible damage.
  • Annually: Schedule a comprehensive professional inspection and testing with HTS. Our technicians will perform a thorough assessment of your fume cupboard, ensuring it meets regulatory standards and identifying any potential issues.

Do you need a respirator with a fume hood?

Whether or not you need a respirator while working in a fume hood depends on the specific chemicals being handled. Some substances, even when used in a fume hood, may require respiratory protection due to their volatility or toxicity. Always consult the chemical safety data sheet (SDS) and risk assessment for guidance on the appropriate PPE, including respirators.

HTS can assist you in conducting risk assessments and selecting the appropriate PPE for your specific work environment.


UK pharmaceutical laboratories must adhere to stringent safety standards for fume cupboards to ensure the protection of staff and the integrity of research. For ducted fume cupboards, the primary standard is BS EN 14175, which outlines critical guidelines for design, construction, and performance. For ductless filtered fume cupboards, BS 7989 is the applicable standard.

These standards, along with other relevant regulations such as HSG 258 and COSHH, provide a framework for ensuring fume cupboards effectively contain and remove hazardous pharmaceutical substances. They cover aspects like face velocity, containment, filter efficiency, and overall safety features.

At Holliday Technical Services, we are fully committed to upholding these standards in all our fume cupboard testing and maintenance services. Our experienced engineers meticulously assess your fume cupboards, regardless of type, to ensure they meet or exceed the requirements of all relevant standards and regulations. We guarantee optimal safety and compliance for your pharmaceutical lab, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus on your critical research.

With over 18 years of experience serving the pharmaceutical industry, we have a proven track record of providing outstanding fume cupboard testing and maintenance services that adhere to the highest safety standards. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and ensure your lab's fume cupboards are operating safely and effectively.


At HTS, we understand the essential role fume cupboards play in laboratory safety and efficiency. That's why we partner with our sister company, Holliday Fielding Hocking (HFH), a highly respected UK supplier of diverse fume cupboard solutions.

Why Choose HFH for Your New Fume Cupboard?

  • Extensive Selection: Discover a comprehensive range of fume cupboards to suit your specific needs, including:
    • Ducted fume cupboards for various applications and extraction requirements.
    • Educational demonstration fume cupboards for safe and engaging learning environments.
    • Ductless fume cupboards in various sizes and configurations for flexible laboratory setups.
    • Laminar flow cabinets for sterile environments and sensitive procedures.
    • Class II Biosafety cabinets for safe handling of biological agents.
    • Additional laboratory extraction arms, enclosures, and specialist cabinets for unique needs.
  • Unmatched Expertise: Benefit from HFH's decades of experience in designing, manufacturing, and installing high-quality fume cupboards.
  • Tailored Solutions: Receive expert guidance in selecting the optimal fume cupboard configuration based on your specific laboratory needs and airflow requirements.
  • Seamless Integration: Leverage HTS's expertise for professional installation and commissioning, ensuring your new fume cupboard functions flawlessly.
  • Ongoing Support: Enjoy peace of mind with HFH's responsive after-sales support, including maintenance and testing services.

Reach Out Today:

Don't limit yourself to standard options. Contact HFH directly to discuss your specific requirements and explore the full range of possibilities for your new fume cupboard. Their extensive selection, combined with HTS's installation expertise, ensures you receive the perfect solution for your laboratory.

Ductless Fume Cupboard FAQs

Can a Ductless Fume Cupboard Work in My Lab?

Holliday Technical Services (HTS) is your leading UK provider for specialist fume cupboard testing, maintenance, and parts, including replacement carbon fume cupboard filters. We understand the unique needs of each laboratory, and whether a ductless fume cupboard is the right solution for yours depends on several factors.

Here's what to consider:

  • Chemicals involved: Ductless fume cupboards excel at filtering specific vapours and fumes. Tell us about the chemicals you use, and we'll assess if this technology can effectively handle them for you.
  • Chemical volume: The effectiveness of carbon filters depends on the quantity of chemicals being used. High volumes might require alternative solutions.
  • Caustic or corrosive environment: Certain chemicals can negatively impact filter performance and materials. Share your specific needs for expert guidance from HTS.

Benefits of Ductless Fume Cupboards:

  • Easy installation: No complex ductwork needed, making them ideal for listed buildings, schools, or temporary setups.
  • Mobility: Freely move them around your lab for flexible fume extraction.
  • Improved ventilation: Enhance air quality in labs lacking proper ventilation systems.

Not sure if a ductless cupboard is right for you? Contact HTS today for a free consultation. Our experts will analyse your specific needs and recommend the best solution for your laboratory's safety and compliance. Plus reach out to HTS for a quotation on scheduled or ad-hoc fume cupboard testing and fume cupboard maintenance.

Are Ductless Fume Cupboards Safe?

Here at Holliday Technical Services (HTS), we understand the importance of safety in laboratory environments. That's why we're happy to address your concerns about Ductless Fume Cupboards (DFCs) in this FAQ.

Short answer: DFCs can be just as safe as traditional ducted fume cupboards when used correctly and chosen for the appropriate applications. Here's why:

  • Matched to the application: The key to Ductless Fume Cupboard (DFCs) safety lies in selecting the right filter for the specific chemicals and volumes you'll be working with. HTS experts can guide you through this process.
  • Effective filtration: Modern DFCs utilise high-performance filters like activated carbon, HEPA, and ULPA to capture fumes and particulates efficiently.
  • Regular maintenance: Like any fume cupboard, proper maintenance and testing are crucial for optimal safety. HTS offers nationwide DFC servicing to ensure your unit functions effectively.

However, Ductless Fume Cupboards might not be ideal for every situation:

  • Highly toxic or explosive chemicals: In such cases, a ducted fume cupboard offering direct exhaust to the outside might be necessary.
  • Large volumes of chemicals: The capacity of DFC filters is finite, so they may not be suitable for high-volume fume generation.

If you are looking to purchase a Ductless Fume Cupboard and you are unsure if a DFC is right for you? Contact HTS today! Our fume cupboard specialists will assess your specific lab needs and recommend the safest and most suitable fume cupboard solution for your facility.

What Filters Does My Ductless Fume Cupboard Need?

At Holliday Technical Services (HTS), we understand the importance of choosing the right filters for your Ductless Fume Cupboard (DFC). Here's a breakdown of the available options and how to select the best fit for your needs:

Types of DFC Filters:

  • Activated Carbon Filters: Ideal for capturing a wide range of chemical fumes and odours. Choose from specific carbon types tailored to your chemicals for optimal performance, see our chart on this page.
  • HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters: Capture 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.3 microns, suitable for dust, aerosols, and biological agents.
  • ULPA (Ultra-Low Penetration Air) Filters: Offer even higher efficiency, capturing 99.9995% of particles down to 0.12 microns, for the most demanding filtration needs.

Choosing the Right Filter:

Selecting the correct filter depends on two key factors:

  1. Chemicals you're using: Different chemicals require specific filter types for effective capture. Refer to manufacturer's recommendations or consult with HTS experts for guidance.
  2. Filtration requirements: Consider the level of protection needed. HEPA filters handle most common scenarios, while ULPA filters offer maximum efficiency for sensitive applications.


  • Regular filter replacement: Replace filters as per manufacturer guidelines to maintain optimal performance and safety.
  • Consult the experts: HTS offers nationwide DFC filter replacement and maintenance services. Contact us for expert advice and ensure your cupboard functions at its best.

When Do I Need to Change My Ductless Fume Cupboard Filter?

Here at Holliday Technical Services (HTS), we prioritise safety in all laboratory environments. Knowing when to replace your Ductless Fume Cupboard (DFC) filter is crucial for maintaining optimal protection. Let's explore the different methods you can utilise:

Built-in Filter Saturation Alarm:

Most modern DFCs come equipped with filter saturation alarms, which automatically alert you when the filter needs replacing. This is the most reliable and recommended method for monitoring filter life. Pay close attention to these alarms and promptly change the filter as indicated.

Additional Monitoring Techniques:

While the built-in alarm is crucial, consider these additional methods for a layered approach:

  • Airflow Meter: Use an anemometer to measure the airflow velocity at the fume cupboard face. A decrease in airflow can indicate filter saturation.
  • Sniffer Test: For certain chemicals, use a specialised "sniffer" tool to detect if fumes are escaping the filter, potentially indicating filter saturation.
  • Headaches, Tiredness or Chemical Odour: If lab users complain of headaches, tiredness or you can smell chemicals being used, it could be a sign that your fume cupboard filters are saturated and need replacing.
  • Regular Maintenance Schedule: HTS offers comprehensive DFC maintenance plans that include filter inspection and replacement based on manufacturer recommendations and usage patterns.


  • Timely Filter Replacement: Replacing saturated filters ensures they continue to effectively capture harmful fumes and protects your lab environment.
  • Expert Guidance: Unsure about filter life or replacement? Contact HTS for expert advice and nationwide filter replacement services.

Are Ductless Fume Cupboards Cost-Effective for My Lab?

At Holliday Technical Services (HTS), we understand the importance of finding cost-effective solutions for your laboratory needs. When it comes to Ductless Fume Cupboards (DFCs), the answer to affordability depends on several factors. Let's break it down:

Upfront Costs:

  • Installation: DFCs typically require less complex installation compared to ducted fume cupboards, potentially saving on costly HVAC upgrades and ductwork.
  • Purchase Price: While DFCs may have a slightly higher initial price than ducted options, these savings can be offset by lower installation costs.

Operating Costs:

  • Energy Efficiency: Modern DFCs utilise efficient fan motors and require less energy to operate compared to ducted systems, reducing running costs.
  • Filter Replacement: While DFCs require regular filter replacements, the cost is usually lower than the ongoing expense of operating and maintaining a ducted system.

Additional Considerations:

  • Maintenance: DFCs often require less frequent and complex maintenance compared to ducted systems, potentially translating to cost savings.
  • Floor Space: Compact DFCs can maximise limited lab space, potentially saving on overall lab costs.

It's not just about money:

Remember, DFCs offer advantages beyond cost:

  • Flexibility: DFCs are portable and can be easily moved, ideal for temporary setups or changing lab needs.
  • Improved Ventilation: They enhance air quality in labs with limited ventilation systems.

Unsure if a DFC is right for you? Contact Holliday Fielding Hocking LTD (HFH) our sister company for a free consultation. Our experts will analyse your specific laboratory setup, chemical usage, and budget to determine if a DFC is the most cost-effective and suitable solution for your needs. 

Who benefits from using Ductless Fume Cupboards in the UK?

At Holliday Technical Services (HTS), we're proud to serve a wide range of industries across the UK with our Ductless Fume Cupboard (DFC) solutions. Here's a glimpse into the diverse sectors utilising DFCs to ensure safety and compliance:

Life Sciences & Pharmaceutical Manufacturing:

  • Research laboratories handling volatile chemicals and biological agents.
  • Drug development and production facilities requiring control of airborne contaminants.

Forensics & Evidence Collection:

  • Secure environments needing to protect personnel and preserve evidence integrity.
  • Mobile DFCs for on-site investigations and analysis.

Industrial Research & Education:

  • Universities and research institutions with limited ventilation systems.
  • Flexible DFCs for diverse research projects and educational demonstrations.

Environmental Sciences:

  • Monitoring air quality and analysing environmental samples.
  • Portable DFCs for field testing and remote locations.

Beyond these core industries, DFCs are also valuable in:

  • Healthcare settings: Protecting staff and patients from hazardous fumes in clinical labs.
  • Electronics & Printing: Managing fumes from soldering and other processes.
  • Chemical Industries: Handling low-volume chemical fume extraction.

Why choose DFCs?

  • Cost-effective: Eliminate expensive ductwork installations and benefit from energy-efficient operation.
  • Flexible & Portable: Ideal for temporary setups, restricted spaces, and mobile applications.
  • Safe & Compliant: Capture harmful fumes and protect users according to UK regulations.

Ready to explore DFCs for your industry? Contact Holliday Fielding Hocking LTD (HFH) our sister company for a free consultation. Our experts will assess your specific needs and recommend the perfect DFC solution for your laboratory or workplace.

Mixing Ducted and Ductless Fume Cupboards: A Smart Choice for Your Lab?

At Holliday Technical Services (HTS), we understand the complex needs of modern laboratories. Often, the question arises: can I combine ducted and ductless fume cupboards in the same facility? The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, utilising both types can offer several advantages:

Complete Filtration Coverage:

  • Ducted cabinets: Ideal for high-risk chemicals or large fume volumes, efficiently exhausting fumes directly outside the building.
  • Ductless cabinets: Provide a flexible and cost-effective solution for low-risk chemicals or smaller volumes, filtering them within the cabinet.
  • Together: They ensure comprehensive protection for a wider range of applications, maximising safety and compliance.

Cost-Effectiveness and Flexibility:

  • Expanding capabilities: Adding ductless cabinets avoids expensive ductwork, expanding your lab's capabilities without major construction.
  • Lower ongoing costs: Ductless cabinets often have lower energy consumption and require less maintenance than ducted systems.
  • Mobile solutions: Portable ductless cabinets offer unmatched flexibility, perfect for temporary setups or changing lab needs.

Choosing the Right Mix:

The optimal combination depends on your specific lab:

  • Chemical types and volumes: Use ducted cabinets for high-risk or high-volume scenarios, and ductless cabinets for others.
  • Ventilation limitations: Ductless cabinets can improve air quality in labs with inadequate ventilation systems.
  • Space constraints: Mobile ductless cabinets offer space-saving advantages.

HTS is here to help!

Our experts can conduct a thorough assessment of your lab and recommend the ideal combination of ducted and ductless fume cupboards to meet your safety, budget, and flexibility needs. Contact us today for a free consultation and ensure your lab is optimally equipped!

How Do Ductless Fume Cupboards Impact Future Lab Planning?

At Holliday Technical Services (HTS), we understand the challenges of planning for a laboratory's future needs. That's where Ductless Fume Cupboards (DFCs) can be a game-changer. Here's how they impact your planning game:

Flexibility and Adaptability:

  • Short-term projects? Unlike ducted systems, DFCs require no complex installations, making them ideal for temporary research contracts or startups. Just plug and play!
  • Limited space? Compact DFCs fit even in cramped labs, maximising precious space utilisation. Plus, their portability allows easy relocation as your needs evolve.
  • Building constraints? No existing HVAC system? No problem! DFCs filter fumes internally, eliminating the need for costly ductwork installations.

Future-Proofing Your Investment:

  • 100% reusable: Unlike fixed ducted systems, DFCs move with you. Take them to your next facility or project, maximising the return on your investment.
  • Scalability: Need more fume extraction capacity? Add more DFCs as your research expands, easily adapting to changing needs.
  • Compliance readiness: Modern DFCs meet stringent UK regulations, ensuring you're always prepared for future compliance requirements.

Beyond Flexibility:

  • Cost-effectiveness: DFCs often have lower upfront and ongoing costs compared to ducted systems, freeing up budget for other lab needs.
  • Improved safety: High-performance filters capture harmful fumes effectively, protecting personnel and the environment.
  • Sustainability: Reduced energy consumption and portable nature contribute to a more eco-friendly lab environment.

Ready to explore the future-proof benefits of DFCs? Contact HTS today! Our experts can help you choose the right DFC solution for your current and future lab needs, setting you up for success and adaptability.

Fume Cupboard In Schools FAQs

How Often Should schools fume cupboards be tested?

Regulations mandate fume cupboard testing every 14 months to guarantee the safety and functionality of your school's fume cupboards. This protects your students and staff from exposure to harmful chemicals. Holliday Technical Services provides expert fume cupboard testing for schools, ensuring your school's lab remains both safe and compliant.

How do you test fume cupboards to make sure they're working properly?

Our qualified engineers conduct a thorough inspection of your school's fume cupboards following the rigorous standards outlined in BS EN 14175-4:2004 and HSG 258. This includes:

  • Visual Check: Examining all parts of the fume cupboard for any damage or wear.
  • Airflow Test: Measuring the speed at which air is pulled into the fume cupboard to ensure its effectively removing harmful vapours.

By adhering to these standards, we guarantee your schools fume cupboards are safe and compliant. Trust HTS with your fume cupboard safety. We have been testing and servicing fume cupboards in schools for over 18 years.

What standards do fume cupboards in schools need to meet?

The safety standard for ducted fume cupboards in the UK is BS EN 14175. This standard provides critical guidelines for the design, construction, and performance of fume cupboards to ensure they effectively protect students and staff from hazardous fumes. Holliday Technical Services adheres to this standard, providing your school with safe and compliant fume cupboard testing and maintenance. HTS have been providing outstanding school's fume cupboards testing for over 18 years. Speak to us today about your schools fume cupboards testing and maintenance needs.

How often do school fume cupboards need professional inspection and testing?

To ensure safety and comply with COSHH regulations, schools fume cupboards must be thoroughly examined and tested by a competent person every 14 months. This isn't just about the fume cupboard itself – it includes the entire system, like ductwork and fans, to guarantee everything is functioning correctly. Holliday Technical Services provides comprehensive schools fume cupboards testing, ensuring your school's lab is safe and compliant. HTS engineers are DBS (Enhanced) checked and we work hard to accommodate school's fume cupboards testing in quieter periods (if possible) in the schools calendar or after core learning hours where possible.

What are the quick safety checks I should do before using a school fume hood?

Always prioritise safety with this simple schools fume cupboards checklist:

  1. Training: Are you and your students properly trained in fume hood use?
  2. Chemicals: Know the hazards of the chemicals you'll be working with.
  3. Sash Position: Is the sash opened to the correct height for optimal protection?
  4. Check Gauges: Ensure the air pressure gauge shows proper airflow.
  5. Fan Function: Verify that the exhaust fan is working correctly.
  6. No Sparks: Keep potential spark sources away from the fume hood.

Need in-depth fume hood testing ? Holliday Technical Services can help!

What is a fume cupboard and how does it work?

A fume cupboard is a special type of ventilated cabinet designed to protect students and staff from harmful fumes during science experiments. There are two distinct types of fume cupboard and many variations. In essence a fume cupboard works like a powerful fan, drawing in contaminated air, filtering it using a specialised filter, and then recirculating it back into the room in the case of ductless schools fume cupboards, or in the case of a ducted school's fume cupboard drawing in the air and safely releasing the air outside the building via ductwork usually positioned above the cabinet and venting on to a roof or outside wall. It's important to make sure the lab has proper ventilation so the fume cupboard can function effectively. Contact HTS about our schools fume cupboards testing service or about purchasing new schools fume cupboards, select refurbished schools fume cupboards, fume cupboard replacement parts including airflow monitoring devices and replacement fume cupboard carbon activated, HEPA or ULPA filter.

Why do we use fume cupboards for some science experiments?

Fume cupboards are like super-powered safety shields! They protect you from breathing in harmful chemicals that some experiments can create. These chemicals can be invisible gases, smelly vapours, or even tiny particles, and the schools fume cupboards whisk them away, so you and your classmates stay safe. COSHH Regulation 9 mandates proactive maintenance for effective LEV control. This includes maintaining schools fume cupboards in optimal working order and good repair, with thorough examinations and testing conducted at least every 14 months, and potentially more frequently for high-risk processes. HTS can provide regular timely testing for your school's fume cupboards to ensure optimum performance and safety.

Do I still need safety gear when using a fume hood?

Absolutely! A fume hood is a powerful tool, but it doesn't replace your PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Always wear:

  • Lab Coat: Protects your clothes and skin from spills.
  • Safety Glasses or Goggles: Shields your eyes from splashes and unexpected reactions.
  • Gloves: Choose the right type for the chemicals you're handling.

Important: The fume hood's sash is NOT a blast shield. Use a separate blast shield if your experiment requires it. HTS is a specialist fume cupboard testing and maintenance provider based in the UK providing fume cupboard testing for schools, colleges, universities, industry, life sciences, forensic chemistry, and all businesses where fume cupboards and/or other local exhaust ventilated (LEV) equipment is used.

PAT Testing For Schools & Laboratories FAQs

What Is Portable Appliance Testing FOR LABORATORIES AND SCHOOLS?

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) involves thorough inspection and testing of electrical appliances to ensure they're safe for use. This is crucial for laboratories and schools due to the presence of a wide range of appliances. Regular PAT testing minimises the risk of electrical hazards, safeguarding your staff, students, and facilities.

What is Portable Equipment?

Portable equipment is defined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as equipment that’s intended to be connected to a generator or fixed installation by a cable and either plug and socket or a spur box. This includes:

  • hand-operated equipment that will be moved while connected to the supply
  • appliances that have been fixed for security purposes
  • extension leads, plugs, sockets and cord sets that supply portable equipment
Why choose HTS for your PAT testing needs?

Expertise: Our team comprises highly trained engineers and PAT testers specialising in laboratory and school environments. They possess in-depth knowledge of regulations and equipment specific to your needs such as sensitive electrical equipment.

Comprehensiveness: We go beyond the basics. We meticulously inspect all appliances, not just conducting a simple functionality check.

Tailored Approach: We understand that every school and laboratory is unique. We collaborate with you to design a personalised testing plan based on the number and type of appliances you have, ensuring optimal coverage.

Transparency: We believe in clear communication. We explain the entire process upfront and keep you informed throughout, ensuring you have complete peace of mind.

Invest in Safety, Choose HTS:

Contact us today for a free consultation and discover how our expert PAT testing services can guarantee optimal safety and compliance in your laboratories and schools. Let us protect your people, your environment, and your peace of mind.

We encourage you to browse our FAQs section for more detailed information or contact us directly if you have any specific questions.

Why are PAT tests important for laboratories and schools?

In laboratories and schools, where safety is paramount, Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) plays a crucial role in safeguarding students, staff, and the overall facility. Here's why:

  • Reduced Risk of Electrical Hazards: Regular PAT testing identifies potential electrical faults before they become dangerous, minimising the risk of accidents and protecting lives.
  • Enhanced Equipment Longevity: By identifying minor issues early, PAT tests prevent them from developing into bigger problems, ensuring your appliances function optimally for longer and reducing replacement costs.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Both schools and laboratories have a legal obligation to maintain safe electrical equipment. PAT testing demonstrates compliance with Electricity at Work Regulations, reducing the risk of legal repercussions.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your electrical appliances are safe promotes a worry-free environment for learning and working. With a clean PAT report, you can rest assured that your staff and students are protected.

Beyond simply being important, HTS elevates PAT testing to a comprehensive and tailored service:

  • Expertise: Our qualified engineers and PAT testers possess in-depth knowledge of laboratory and school environments, ensuring meticulous examination of appliances.
  • Comprehensiveness: We go beyond basic checks, offering thorough inspections of all electrical components for maximum safety and peace of mind.
  • Customization: We collaborate with you to create a personalised testing plan based on your unique needs and equipment, ensuring no appliance is overlooked.
  • Transparency: We believe in clear communication. We explain the process clearly, keep you informed throughout, and provide detailed reports.

Invest in the safety of your students, staff, and equipment with expert PAT testing from Holliday Technical Services. Contact us today for a free consultation and experience the difference.

How often should I schedule PAT testing for my laboratory or school?

While there's no single, mandatory rule for PAT testing frequency, there are crucial factors to consider for laboratories and schools:

Risk Assessment: The potential risk associated with electrical faults in your specific environment plays a key role. Laboratories with hazardous materials might require more frequent testing compared to offices.

Equipment Type and Usage: The number and type of electrical appliances, influence testing frequency. High-use or specialised equipment might benefit from earlier retesting. Note: Medical Equipment in the UK should be tested in accordance with IEC 60601, IEC 62353 & IEC 61010. HTS do not test Medical Equipment. Please consult us regarding testing of fume cupboards, biosafety cabinets and other LEV [local exhaust ventilated] equipment.

Regulatory Recommendations: While not legally mandated, industry guidance like HSE suggests annual PAT testing for most environments. However, your risk assessment might necessitate a different schedule.

Historical Data and Past Findings: Reviewing past PAT reports can reveal patterns or recurring issues that inform future testing frequency.

Ultimately, the best approach is a personalised one. At HTS, we go beyond generic answers. We:

  • Conduct a thorough risk assessment: We analyse your specific laboratory or school environment to understand your unique needs.
  • Collaborate with you: We discuss your concerns, equipment inventory, and historical data to find the optimal testing frequency.
  • Offer transparent recommendations: We explain our reasoning and propose a tailored testing plan to ensure optimal safety and compliance. Consider bringing your PAT Testing regime inline with your fume cupboard testing plan with HTS, and you never have to worry.

Don't wait until it's too late. Contact HTS today for a free consultation and expert guidance on PAT testing frequency for your specific needs. Together, we can create a safe and compliant environment for your staff, students, and research activities.

Explore our FAQs for more answers, or reach out directly if you have further questions.

What happens during a PAT testing session at my school or laboratory?

At HTS, we prioritise transparency and efficiency throughout the PAT testing process. Here's what you can expect:

1. Personalised Planning:

  • We discuss your needs and equipment inventory to develop a tailored testing plan, ensuring all appliances are covered.
  • We schedule a mutually convenient date and time to minimise disruption in your facility.

2. Comprehensive Examination:

  • Our highly trained and experienced PAT testers arrive at your site equipped with the latest testing equipment.
  • We meticulously examine all electrical appliances, including:
    • Visual inspection for damage or wear
    • Earth bonding tests
    • Insulation resistance tests
    • Function tests
    • Leakage current tests

3. Clear Communication:

  • We keep you informed throughout the process, explaining our findings and answering any questions you may have.
  • We prioritise clear communication to ensure you understand the results and any recommendations.

4. Detailed Reporting:

  • Upon completion, you receive a comprehensive report outlining the testing results for each appliance.
  • The report categorises each appliance as "Pass," "Fail," or "Further Investigation," with clear recommendations for any necessary actions.

5. Minimised Disruption:

  • We understand the importance of minimising disruption in your educational or research environment.
  • Our efficient team works swiftly and professionally, ensuring the testing process has minimal impact on your daily operations.

Beyond the standard procedure:

  • At HTS, we go beyond just ticking boxes. We provide expert insights and recommendations to optimise your electrical safety and equipment longevity.
  • We offer additional services like remedial repairs and ongoing maintenance plans for complete peace of mind.

Ready to ensure the safety of your staff, students, and equipment? Contact HTS today for a free consultation and experience the difference expert PAT testing can make.

Explore our FAQs for more answers, or reach out directly if you have further questions.

Do I need a PAT test certificate for my school or laboratory?

While PAT testing itself isn't legally mandated in the UK, some regulations like the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 place a general duty on employers and occupiers to ensure the safety of electrical equipment. In such cases, documented evidence of PAT testing becomes crucial for demonstrating compliance.

Here's what you need to know:

Certificate vs. Report:

  • We don't issue formal "certificates" but rather comprehensive PAT test reports.
  • These reports detail the testing procedures, results for each appliance (pass, fail, further investigation), and any recommendations.

Why You Should Have a PAT Test Report:

  • Compliance: The report serves as documentation of your efforts to maintain electrical safety, potentially helping you demonstrate due diligence in legal situations.
  • Insurance Claims: Some insurance companies may require evidence of regular PAT testing for claim eligibility.
  • Peace of Mind: The report provides a clear overview of your equipment's electrical health, giving you peace of mind and facilitating informed decisions about repairs or replacements.

Transparency and Availability:

  • Our reports are clear, concise, and easily understandable, even for those without technical expertise.
  • We readily provide copies of the report electronically or in physical format, as per your preference.

Additional Support:

  • If you require assistance interpreting the report or need further clarification, our team is always happy to answer your questions.
  • We can also discuss additional services like remedial repairs or ongoing maintenance plans for fume cupboards, biosafety cabinets or other LEV equipment (not covered by PAT Testing) to ensure continued electrical safety and compliance.


  • While not legally mandatory, having a PAT test report is a wise security measure and can prove valuable in various situations.
  • At HTS, we prioritise transparency and provide comprehensive documentation to empower you with essential information about your electrical equipment's safety.

Contact us today for a free PAT testing consultation and experience the difference expert service can make!

Explore our FAQs for more answers or reach out directly with any specific questions.

Are PAT tests mandatory for schools and laboratories?

While PAT testing itself isn't legally mandated in the UK, it plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety of electrical equipment, especially in environments like schools and laboratories. Here's what you need to know:

Regulations and Recommendations:

  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 place a general duty on employers and occupiers to maintain the safety of electrical equipment. While PAT testing isn't explicitly mandated, it's widely recognised as the best way to fulfil this duty.
  • Industry guidance like HSE recommends annual PAT testing for most environments. However, the specific frequency might vary depending on factors like risk assessments and equipment usage.

Benefits of PAT Testing:

  • Reduced Risk of Electrical Hazards: Regular PAT testing identifies potential problems before they become dangerous, protecting staff, students, and property from electrical accidents.
  • Enhanced Equipment Longevity: Early detection of issues prevents them from developing into bigger problems, extending the lifespan of your equipment and saving you money in the long run.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your electrical equipment is safe fosters a worry-free environment for learning and working.

HTS Goes Beyond the Standard:

  • Our expert PAT testers have extensive experience in laboratory and school environments, ensuring meticulous examination of specialised equipment. Note: Medical Equipment in the UK should be tested in accordance with IEC 60601, IEC 62353 & IEC 61010. HTS do not test Medical Equipment. Please consult us regarding testing of fume cupboards, biosafety cabinets and other LEV [local exhaust ventilated] equipment.
  • We offer customised testing plans based on your specific needs and equipment inventory.
  • We provide detailed reports with clear recommendations for any required actions.
  • We offer additional services like remedial repairs and ongoing maintenance plans for complete peace of mind.

Invest in safety and compliance. Contact HTS today for a free consultation and experience the difference expert PAT testing can make.

Explore our FAQs for more answers, or reach out directly if you have further questions.

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Holliday Technical Services, Unit 9a, Aire Place Mills, 103 - 143 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS3 1JL

0113 245 4111


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