Heating Devices are electrical devices that supply heat for reactions or separations are commonly used in laboratories.
Electrically heated devices include hotplates, hot-tube furnaces, heating mantles, hot-air guns, air baths, oil baths, and ovens.
Before using any heating device:
- check to see if the unit has an automatic shutoff in case of overheating;
- note the condition of electrical cords and have them replaced as required;
- make sure the apparatus has been maintained as required by the manufacturer;
- make sure the device maintains a Underwriters' Laboratories (UL®) or Factory Mutual Engineering Division of Associated Factory Mutual Fire Insurance Companies (FM®) listing;
- make sure all heating units in use without automatic shutoff have been turned off before leaving an area for any extended period of time.
- If baths are required to be activated when not attended, they should be equipped with timers to turn them on and off at suitable hours and a thermostat to turn off power if the unit overheats.
- Flammable or combustible solvents should never be used in a heated bath unless housed in a chemical fume hood and attended during operation.
Unattended heating devices - Operations man not run unattended without:
- The lab supervisors review and permission
- A fail-safe provision (e.g., a thermostat)
- Emergency instructions and contact information for the individual most familiar with the operation posted on the outside door of the lab.
- Laboratory lights left on. Lab Accident Unattended hotplate fire report from University of Washington.