Electric Kiln Safety10 Jan 2021 -
A pottery kiln is a great, safe tool to have at home as long as the electric kiln safety measures are adhered to. Because of the extreme heat that they put out, the user should also be aware of the toxic fumes that fill the surrounding air. To ensure that individuals remain safe while using a kiln, the following safety tips should be followed at all times.
Always Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Due to the outer surface of a kiln becoming extremely hot, having the proper protective equipment will allow you to work safely around it. If no protective equipment was used, then the chance of a burn increases tremendously. To remain safe, you should have these PPE items available:
- Dark Safety goggles: The safety goggles will prevent heat from affecting you as you glance through a spy hole. These will also provide you with the adequate protection as opposed to other sunglasses and you will be able to view the cone packs.
- Kiln gloves: You need to wear your kiln gloves while in contact with the kiln, during the firing, and during its cooling. It is also a good idea to keep them on even if their power is turned off, as they remain hot for a while afterwards.
Ventilation of a Kiln
No matter what type of kiln you utilize, it should have proper ventilation. If not, then the toxic fumes can cause serious health issues or even death. To ensure proper ventilation, take the following into consideration:
- Your kiln’s Hood is turned on or well ventilated before you load to eliminate exposure to any glaze dust.
- Proper ventilation testing equipment is used to ensure ventilation is functioning properly.
- Manufacturer guidelines are adhered to at all times
Toxic Gas Exposure
Toxic gases are constantly being released from kilns and these can easily cause issues with a person’s respiratory system. A few of the gases that you can be exposed to include:
- Sulfur dioxide – This gas is released when metal salts are being fired. This can cause serious irritation to the lungs.
- Carbon monoxide – This gets circulated as firing is reduced. It can cause drowsiness, dizzy spells, and headaches.
Electric Kiln Firing
Although the firing process may be the least mind-blowing experience, the ceramic artist considers it to be a critical stage in making pottery. With firing, it is able to harness together the energy that the other stages create in order to achieve a perfect ceramic piece.
Because of their easy availability and uncomplicated installation, an electric kiln is used more often than any other type of kilns when it comes to firing ceramics. When knowing how to fire the kiln, you’ll have another skill that is crucial for the ceramic process.
Most importantly, all guidelines from the kiln manufacturer should be followed while being fired.
Installing Electric Kilns
Besides installing your electric kiln according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, you also need to ensure that all fire and electrical codes in your area are followed. Installation of the kiln must also be conducted by a certified electrician. If not, then you risk invalidating the insurance that covers your kiln.