Facility Design

Rice University laboratories are design to provide users with the necessary resources to conduct research in a safe environment. The proper use of these facility resources is integral in ensuring the safety of the students, researchers, and staff members.

Fume Hoods

Experiments with volatile chemicals or noxious odors should be perform in a fume hoods. Before each use, the face velocity of the hood shall be examined to ensure there is appropriate air flow. Laboratory personnel may call Environmental Health & Safety to request a face velocity test. The level to which the sash should be drawn to allow good ventilation as marked on the hood (approximately 14 or 18 inches). Any hood discovered not to be operating properly, either during use or during periodic inspection, shall be closed and labeled as such until all problems are corrected. Contact Facilities Engineering and Planning to submit a work order.

Storage of toxic materials inside hoods is not recommended. Hoods are not to be used as storage areas and chemicals should be stored in the appropriate cabinet.

The use of perchloric acid requires a specialized fume hood with wash-down system to prevent buildup of perchlorates inside the hood, exhaust ducts, and fan components. Perchloric acid should never be used in any fume hood that is not strictly dedicated for this type of chemical.


An overhead safety shower is located within or near each laboratory. These are for rapid washing of people who have had substantial spills of toxic, caustic or acid solutions on themselves. Do not pull shower handles unless needed. Showers should be checked annually for proper flow.

Eye Wash

If chemical splash occurs in the eye(s) rinse with large amounts of water. Many laboratory sinks are equipped with an eye wash attachments for rapid washing of the eyes when a substance has been spilled, splashed or blown into the eyes. In addition, all laboratories have a stand alone eye wash station located within the laboratory.

You may submit a work order via Rice Facilities Engineering and Planning if you need to schedule any maintenance repairs.