PC Hardware


Fire is not pleasant to think about, but it is a fact of life. A workplace fire can be disastrous both in terms of lost equipment and injury to people. Knowing what to do in the event of a fire can save valuable equipment and, most importantly, lives. Here are a few tips to help prevent fire and protect yourself:

  • Always know the emergency procedures to be carried out in case of fire at your workplace.
  • Know the location of the nearest fire exits.
  • Know the location of the nearest fire extinguishers and how to use them.
  • Don't overload electrical outlets.

Simply knowing the location of a fire extinguisher is of no value unless you know how to use it. If you don't, contact your safety department or local fire department. They will be glad to help you get the training you need. Also, remember that using the wrong type of fire extinguisher can be worse than not using one at all.

There are three basic types of fire extinguishers as shown in Figure 19.1.

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Figure 19.1 Fire extinguisher types

Environmental Issues

Many computers and peripheral devices (especially printers) use consumable or recyclable components. In order to help keep our environment safe, you should be aware of these items and use them properly.

Examples of recyclable items or items that require special disposal are:

  • Batteries.
  • Toner and cartridge kits.
  • Circuit boards.
  • Chemical solvents.
  • Monitors (CRTs).

Be sure to follow the manufacturers' recommendations for recycling or disposal of any of these items. Some items, such as toner cartridges even have prepaid shipping labels so that they can be returned for proper disposal.

When purchasing or using any kind of chemicals (cleaners, for example) that you are not familiar with the proper use and disposal of, be sure to check the MSDS (material safety data sheet). This is a form that describes the nature of any chemicals manufactured. It includes generic information about the product's chemical makeup and any recognized hazards (including what to do and who to call if there is a problem). These forms are required by law, so ask to see them. Chemical suppliers must provide the purchaser with the MSDS for products, if requested. Also consider purchasing sprays with a manual pump dispenser or compressed air rather than CFCs or other propellants that can be harmful to the environment.