Computer safety features and managing electrostatic discharge

Working with computers and other electronic gadgets is considered quite a risky undertaking especially owing to the fact that most of them are electrically powered and hence a slight mishandling can result into possible electrocution. Static electricity is another aspect of electricity that people tend to ignore. This is electricity that is not in motion. The existence of static electricity is not quite a problem. However, the problem manifests itself the moment the static electricity gets to motion and gets discharged. Electrostatic discharge can be controlled in many different ways.



ESD Straps:

ESD Straps are a common item that can be used to keep the humidity levels in a room quite low at the range of 60%. Humidity normally comes in when one is handling electronic equipment or even when working in an air conditioned office environment where the air conditioner is also sucking some humidity out of the air.


ESD Mats:

These are special types of mats that are used to minimize ESD. One should make an effort of standing on the electrostatic pad or on the electrostatic mat. These are devices that are usually connected to the ground embedded on the power supply originating from the wall. One should remember one important thing: those devices possess resistors in them which will protect you from getting hit by any type of voltage. One should also keep in mind that direct connection to any electrical wall outlet should never happen. One should utilize such a device which is designed to connect specifically to the ground. In addition, such a device is designated to offer one protection from any voltage discharge.


ESD mats however do not come into application when one is removing components in a computer and taking them to another point. In such a case, one is not protected from ESD since one is not going to stand on an electrostatic pad or mat. Here, one should use an anti-static bag. With this bag, one will protect the components from all sort of ESD in the process of relocating them from one place to another.



Self-Grounding:

Self -grounding is a precaution that one normally takes before deciding to work on components inside one computer. First touch any metallic case surrounding it so as to create an electric potential equilibrium between the item one are to work on and oneself. If by any chance one had an electrostatic charge, it will directly flow into the component one are holding. To make this safer, one should just hold the edges of the equipment so that any electrostatic charges in one will not affect the equipment at any cost.



Equipment grounding:

Equipment grounding is a safety practice that has become quite common on almost all modernized electrostatic systems. Most of them have a path to ground. In one building, there should be a ground rod where all one electrostatic components will be connected to. Through this, any type of voltage that finds its way to a place it should not be will directly go into the ground rod instead of getting into one. So, it is obviously and undoubtedly true that the ground rod is an extremely important thing that one should have on all electronic systems. This is a practice that should not only apply in our computer components that are plugged into a power source but also to the entire rack of components. For instance if one are in a data center where there are many metallic racks, one should be completely assured that any sort of electricity that might get onto the racks is also directed into an electric ground. Hence if one is in a data center, it is worth noting that almost all one racks have been grounded. On a closer look, one should come across a large copper wire or braid connecting to the racks and finally connecting to a ground source.


One should ensure that one take a look at one's equipment; take a look at all the racks to ensure they have all been grounded. One should also make sure that a ground connection is there. One should neither disconnect it at nor remove the ground pin connection from the computer cable. One should also make sure that there is a path leading to the ground so as to protect oneself from any sort of electrical discharge.



Personal Safety:

Owing to the fact that some devices tend to draw and consume much voltage, one should be mindful of all power being consumed by the devices one are using taking a though on equipment such as laser printers and old cathode ray tubes. The power supplies harbored in the high-end servers might probably take in much power. If one will be working near such components, ensure that all proper safety procedures are followed so as to just assure one of not getting a shock as well.



Disconnect Power before repairing PC

When deciding to embark on repairing the pc, one should ensure that any power source has been disconnected before choosing to work directly on any type of component. It is among the worst ideas to have one device plugged to a power source or turned on when one want to work in its interior.


One should barely touch anything which is inside the computer not unless one has absolute conviction that there are no problems with power. It is a common phenomenon to possess power supplies especially the old ones store much power inside their capacitors. It is also quite obvious that majority of the old Cathode Ray Tubes maintain much power in their capacitors. So when deciding to work with such components, one should be absolutely sure that there will be a minimal risk of any sort of shock.


In this case, one witness many people making an entire replacement of the power supply in a computer rather than attempting to do repairs on single components. It is much cheap to simply disconnect the power supply and reduce on time wastage. At the long run, one should find out that it is far much safer to keep one off the other components in the power supply and make a simple replacement with an item one are aware of working properly.



Remove Jewelry

In our day to day activities, we often find ourselves working in environs with numerous moving machines and equipment with the best example being a laser printer whose design is meant to pull papers through extremely hot and high-pressure environs. When working somewhere close or even near such equipment, one should make sure one remove any jewels that one might have worn especially if it's around the wrist or neck.


In case one are in a particular type of name badge, ensure that its design is one that can allow for automatic break away; that is it should have a connection at the back. If the connection is absent, then abstain from wearing the badge around the neck. One should not imagine standing the badge caught inside the printer and having one's entire neck swiped into the device.



Lifting Techniques

In other cases, one always finds himself or herself in the need to pick devices that are far too heavy for one to lift. In such a case, one should try to ensure that one mobilize a team of people or multiple individuals to assist in lifting. Alternatively, one should have specialized equipment that can lift and haul the items that are overweight.



Weight Limitations

If one is hauling any component or equipment whose weight is far too heavy, one should employ multiple persons to lift it or go for specialized equipment.



Electric Fire Safety

One should also take great consideration when one has the thought about the potential of a fire occurrence. With most of one's electric equipment connected to different power sources, extinguishing the fire using water or foam will obviously be useless and can even be far much dangerous. In fact, it can be a very stupid idea. In this case, one should make utilization of some dry chemical or even use Carbon Dioxide or FM-200. One should ensure to take a look at the fire extinguishers at one disposal so as to ensure that the components in it are the ones designed specifically to counter fires associated with electric systems.


In the occurrence of a fire, removing the power source is another important practice that one should engage in. Accessing or getting close the socket where the device has been plugged in can be quite difficult so one should be conversant with the location of all electric panels or the master power switch. Once these are off, then one should be left aware that no electricity is aiding in making the firefighting process complicated.



CRT Safety- proper Disposal

With old cathode ray tubes becoming far much less common, one should still maintain high level of caution especially if one is working around them. One should know that these tubes maintain capacitors inside the monitors which might have stored some electricity in them. If one is working inside a cathode ray tube, one should be sure that one has taken the proper precautions. In addition one should ensure that one is using the best methods to easily discharge any power that could be present in the tubes.



Cable Management

If one are working in an environment such as a lab or data center where there are many pieces of equipment, cable management is a practice one should consider with utmost importance. Having cables all over the floor means that those are trip hazards that can cause a lot of accidents since it can be a problem to any individual strolling by. One should make sure one is using Velcro or cable ties not only to keep one cables neat but also to keep them off the path of anyone. This prevents people from falling. In the eventual long run, it also helps when the need to troubleshoot any of the cables in the network or power system arises.



Compliance with Local Government regulations:

In every area pertaining health and safety, there are usually some government made regulations that also come into existence and play. As an individual working in such an environment, one should try and make one self-aware with all the safety rules and regulations for one particular working environment. This is irrespective of where one are working be it a hospital, manufacturing floor or office complex. One should be sure to stick to the right safety precautions and regulations for the specific and particular environment one are working in.


At the top of one's mind, one should keep the existing safety rules and regulations. However, if one is coming up with a new area, making a new building or having a construction, there are some building codes that one should keep in mind as well. This applies especially when it comes to fire prevention and aspects such as electric codes which can then help avert any problems that might come up in the unseen future.


One should also bear in mind that most of the devices that we possess may also have components in them that are a hazard to the environment. With respect to this, there are a number of regulations that are associated with their disposal and not just throwing them away into a garbage can or something of the sort. The disposal of such at times calls for formal procedures and processes to which one can always pay some reference together with the device's documentation.


Basically, electrostatic management is as important as electrical management. This is due to the fact that electrostatic charges can be as dangerous as dangerous as electric charges hence putting an individual at a very high risk. On the other hand, computer safety should also be upheld and not ignored. With computers being high-tech devices, their in-built sophistication can also pose some threat or danger if utmost safety is not adhered to.


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