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Safety Tips for Using Your Bunsen Burners

Bunsen Burners

The Bunsen burners in your laboratory are some of the most dangerous and useful of all your lab supplies.

Many scientists use them to sterilize equipment or rapidly heat high-boiling liquids using a single flame. Whether it’s powered by natural, petroleum, propane, or butane, the Bunsen burner is likely an integral heat source in your lab.

To avoid dangerous or potentially deadly accidents concerning your Bunsen burner, there are some safety precautions you need to follow before, during, and after each use. Keep reading to find out what these are and err on the side of caution.

Never Leave a Flame Unsupervised

You should never leave a flame of any kind unattended, and this especially goes for gas-powered ones like you get from a Bunsen burner. If it falls off its stand or gets too close to other objects, it could start a larger, uncontrollable gas fire. Always be aware when there is a Bunsen burner in use and be mindful to properly extinguish the flame when you’re done using it.

Let It Cool Before Handling

Bunsen burners provide a high-temperature flame using direct precision. While many Bunsen burners come with thermal-resistant features to prevent burns, it’s still good practice to wait for it to cool down before you handle it.

Inspect Before Use

Before you begin to operate your Bunsen burner, there are a few things you should check for. First, the area should be clear of combustible items and the burner should be placed on a heatproof mat. Secondly, you need to be sure the Bunsen burner is free of any cracks or disconnected hoses. The smallest inconsistencies can cause major equipment failure and could potentially cause injury.

Ignite Correctly

You should never use a match or lighter to ignite your Bunsen burners. This equipment should always be ignited with the sparker that comes with the burner. After the gas valve has been turned on, the metal sparker should be used to create a spark and light the Bunsen burner.

Always Perform Safety Checks

No matter your scientific discipline, the Bunsen burner can help you perform a myriad of experiments. For it to operate efficiently without the risk of injury, it matters to always use it safely and follow the guidance found in the manual.

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