Computer Lab Fire Prevention Tips
The first line of defense against any fire is always fire prevention. Careful, periodic inspection of your office, computer lab, or other sensitive storage space, with an eye for fire hazards can drastically lower your chances of ever experiencing a fire. A few minutes spent eliminating possible danger areas can save your business days of recovering from the catastrophic damage a fire can cause.
- Closely examine all cords periodically, immediately replacing any electrical cords showing damage, frays, or exposed wires. Make sure the plug end is securely inserted into its receptacle. Straighten sharp bends in the cords, untie knots and untangle snarls, and remove any possible causes of abrasion in contact with the cords. Don't place computers too close to walls, desks, or other objects which would force the electrical cords to bend and limit air circulation.
- Avoid the use of extension cords or surge protectors with cords longer than six feet long — they're no substitute for hard wiring specific to your needs! Instead, hire a qualified electrician to install additional electric outlets when and where you need them. As a fire prevention effort, it's well worth the cost to make things safer — and tidier, as a bonus.
- Avoid plugging in too many items into each electrical socket, which can cause electrical overload, in turn resulting in overheating. (Check the total amperage requirements of all appliances you desire to plug into one receptacle against the amperage of the receptacle.) Be aware that multiple electrical sockets can be on the same circuit, as well, in your calculations of appropriate electric loads.
- When using powers strips or surge protectors, use only UL- or ETL-approved units equipped with an internal circuit breaker, and plug only one power strip or surge protector into each duplex receptacle. Avoid the temptation to plug multiple surge protectors into a single duplex receptacle. Never plug one surge protector into another. This will result in electric overload. If cords or power strips are hot to the touch, immediately turn off device, unplug surge protector, and evaluate for problems with electrical overload.
- Follow manufacturer's instructions for plugging in any electrical device safely.
- Completely avoid carrying or placing liquid near any of your electrical devices, and keep the environment around devices, electrical sockets, and cords moisture free and well-ventilated. Never allow carpet or curtains to drape on or around cords.
- Power off unnecessary computer components when you leave them, and unplug surge protectors and power strips when unused. Keep components clean, uncovered, and dust-free.
- Ensure that your facility meets local fire codes. Be especially aware of old wiring as a fire hazard. Ungrounded outlets, typical in older wiring, pose a safety threat.
Following the above simple precautions, combined with installing Cease Fire's easy, cost-effective patent-pending modular waterless fire suppression system will keep your most valuable and vulnerable equipment and property from experiencing the devastating damage that fire and water can cause.