1 University of Baltimore Safety Contract for Home Lab Experiments

General Guidelines

  1. Never handle equipment or materials until you have read/watched the instructions and any applicable Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
  2. Store lab materials in a temperature controlled area and away from extreme temperatures (i.e. not in a hot car, attic, basement, etc.)
  3. If applicable, put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as goggles or gloves before beginning experiment
  4. Follow all instructions (written, verbal, and video) carefully, including clean up instructions.
  5. Do not perform unauthorized activities or experiments with lab materials
  6. If performing labs in a location that comes into contact with food (i.e. kitchen table, kitchen counter, etc), sanitize the area before and after performing the experiment.
  7. Wash your hands at the end of lab.
  8. For consumable materials: all liquid materials used in home lab experiments can be disposed of down the sink with running water, and all solid materials can be put in the garbage or recycled.


Lab Attire

  1. Lab coats are not required for at-home lab experiments.
  2. PPE such as gloves and goggles are optional.
  3. Secure long hair back and away from your face so that it does not get into the lab materials or obscure your vision.
  4. Be aware that some experiments use chemicals that may stain or discolor clothes. Take this into consideration when choosing what to wear while performing home lab experiments.


Lab Equipment

  1. Students should inform the professor of any chemical allergies (e.g. Iodine, etc). at the beginning of the semester.
  2. All at-home lab materials are freely available to purchase at any grocery, pharmacy, or hardware store, and thus are safe for at-home use, however, some materials are not appropriate for children (and pets) and present a health or choke hazard (rubbing alcohol, lactase enzyme, seeds, etc). If you have small children (and/or pets) in your home, store the container of lab materials in a secure place out of reach of small children (and/or pets).
  3. Do not taste or smell chemicals without specific permission from the professor.
  4. Do not return unused chemicals to the original container (this will contaminate the original container, and may alter the results of future experiments).
  5. Use only the amount of chemicals needed for the procedure. Keep containers closed when not actively in use.
  6. All students will be familiar with Safety Data Sheets (SDS), where they are located, and the type of information that can be found on them.


Lab Materials

  1. Never eat or drink from laboratory materials.
  2. Only dispose of materials per the lab instructions (varies by lab)
  3. If you must smell a chemical, use your hands to waft the smell toward your face. Do not place the chemical directly below your nose.
  4. Use mitts or other instruments when handling heated glassware. Reminder that hot glass looks the same as cool glassware!
  5. Never leave heat sources unattended (i.e. stove, any kind of open flame)
  6. Use electrical equipment according to its purpose and design. Do not use equipment that has cords/plugs with exposed wiring. If you discover exposed wiring in electrical equipment, please do not use that equipment.




I, _____________________________________________, agree to:


  • Purchase the required materials (per the required materials list) in order to complete my lab assignments
  • Abide by the safety rules for at-home biology labs outlined above, along with any additional safety information provided in lab texts, video demonstrations, or instructor communication.
  • Understand the safety information on relevant SDS sheets before handling lab materials/chemicals
  • Follow lab instructions at all times
  • Keep lab materials out of reach of small children/pets.



By signing below I acknowledge:


  • I am responsible for purchasing the required materials (per the required materials list) in order to complete my lab assignments
  • I am responsible for my own safety/the safety of others in my household while performing experiments.


I, (print name) _____________________________________ have read and understand the preceding rules of (print class) ________________________________________________


Student signature:  _______________________________________   Date ___________




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