July 2


Your Fume Cupboard: A Lab Safety Essential

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Last updated on July 3, 2024

Your Fume Cupboard A Lab Safety Essential

Your Fume Cupboard: A Lab Safety Essential (and How to Keep It That Way)

Picture this: You're working in a lab, surrounded by beakers, Bunsen burners, and a fascinating array of chemicals. It's exciting, right? But it's also potentially hazardous. That's where your trusty fume cupboard comes in.

Fume cupboards, also known as fume hoods, are the unsung heroes of laboratory safety. They protect you and your colleagues from harmful fumes, vapours, and gases, ensuring a safe working environment.

But like any piece of essential equipment, fume cupboards need regular care and attention to perform their job effectively. That's where Holliday Technical Services (HTS) comes in. We're the UK's leading specialists in fume cupboard servicing, maintenance, and testing.

Holliday Technical Services have been testing and maintaining fume cupboards in the UKs most respected laboratories, universities and schools for over 18 years, let us show you why so many businesses choose to trust HTS for fume cupboard servicing, repair and annual testing. Our sister company Holliday Fielding Hocking Ltd have been supplying UK laboratories, schools and universities with new fume cupboards and select refurbished fume cupboards for over 70 years. We are a one-stop-shop for buying, servicing and repairing fume cupboards and offer full UK installation and testing as well as offering removal and disposal of your redundant fume cupboards.

My names, Sean and today we will explore why fume cupboards are in my opinion the unsung hero of laboratories up and down the UK.

Why Fume Cupboard Care Matters

It's easy to overlook fume cupboard maintenance amidst the hustle and bustle of lab work. But failing to keep your fume cupboard in top condition can have serious consequences. A malfunctioning fume cupboard could lead to:

  • Exposure to hazardous substances: This can cause immediate health issues like respiratory irritation or long-term problems like chronic illnesses.
  • Contamination of experiments: Fumes escaping from a faulty fume cupboard could compromise your research and results.
  • Fire or explosion hazards: Some chemicals can become volatile if not properly contained.
  • Non-compliance with safety regulations: This could result in fines or legal action.

HTS: Your Trusted Partner in Fume Cupboard Safety

At HTS, we understand the unique challenges faced by labs in different sectors. Whether you're working in a school, university, research facility, or industrial setting, we have the expertise and experience to keep your fume cupboards operating safely and efficiently.

Our comprehensive range of services includes:

  • Fume Cupboard Testing: We conduct thorough tests to ensure your fume cupboard meets all relevant British and European safety standards (BS EN) and complies with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations.
  • Maintenance: Our team of highly trained, DBS-checked technicians can perform routine maintenance to keep your fume cupboard in peak condition.
  • Repairs and Replacement Parts: We supply and install a wide range of fume cupboard parts, including filters, fans, motors, and airflow monitors. If something goes wrong, we'll quickly diagnose and fix the issue.
  • Waste Removal: As licensed waste carriers, we can safely remove and dispose of your old or redundant fume cupboards.
  • New and Used Fume Cupboards: We also offer a selection of new and refurbished fume cupboards to suit any budget and laboratory need.

The Do's and Don'ts of Fume Cupboard Use

To maximise the effectiveness of your fume cupboard and ensure your safety, here are some essential do's and don'ts:


  • Use the fume cupboard for its intended purpose: Conduct experiments involving hazardous chemicals only inside a functioning fume cupboard.
  • Keep the sash closed when not in use: This saves energy and prevents fumes from escaping.
  • Regularly clean the interior and exterior: A clean fume cupboard works better and is less likely to harbour harmful residues.
  • Ensure proper ventilation: Make sure your lab has adequate ventilation to supply fresh air to the fume cupboard.


  • Overcrowd the fume cupboard: Leave enough space for air to flow freely.
  • Store chemicals or equipment inside: This can obstruct airflow and reduce the fume cupboard's effectiveness.
  • Use improper duct materials: If your fume cupboard is ducted, use materials that are resistant to the chemicals you're working with.
  • Ignore unusual noises or smells: These could be signs of a malfunction that needs immediate attention.

The HTS Advantage: Expertise, Convenience, and Peace of Mind

Choosing HTS for your fume cupboard servicing needs means you're partnering with a company that prioritises your safety and convenience. Our family-based business understands the importance of personalised service and tailored solutions.

We're proud of our reputation for delivering a quality service at a fair cost. Our clients include some of the UK's most prestigious institutions and companies, from Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls Royce to Newcastle University and the Ministry of Defence.

Contact Us Today

If you're looking for a reliable, experienced, and friendly fume cupboard servicing partner, look no further than Holliday Technical Services. Contact us today for a free quote or to discuss your specific needs. We're here to help you create a safer, more efficient lab environment.


1. What are the essential safety measures to observe when using a fume cupboard?
When using a fume cupboard, ensure that no equipment extends beyond the sash opening as this can disrupt airflow and decrease the hood's effectiveness. All equipment and materials should be placed at least 6 inches behind the sash to enhance the containment of fumes.

2. How should a fume cupboard be properly maintained?
To maintain a fume cupboard, regularly clean the interior cabinet and base with a chemical neutralising solution. Also, clean the sealant around any drip cups, sinks, or waste areas. Use glass cleaner and a soft cloth for cleaning glass surfaces. Regularly inspect service valves and outlets for any leaks or damage.

3. What are the best practices for operating a fume cupboard?
When operating a fume cupboard, minimise the amount of equipment inside and ensure that it is positioned at least 150mm inside the sash plane for optimal containment. Keep all items clear of the sash opening to facilitate quick closure during an emergency.

4. What is the operating principle of a fume cupboard?
A fume cupboard functions as a containment device by pulling in fresh air from the room and expelling contaminated air into the atmosphere at highly diluted concentrations. It is crucial that rooms with fume cupboards have a continuous supply of fresh air while they are in operation.

Reach Out to Holliday Technical Services for Prompt Fume Cupboard Testing in the UK

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