Are Your Household Computers and Electronics Safe?

Plastic end caps

Did you know that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidental injuries killed 120,859 Americans in 2010? That same year, another 29.3 million people ended up in the emergency room with serious injuries, also from everyday accidents and hazards. Staying safe depends on identifying commonplace dangers and risks. For example, computers, including computer parts and wiring, can catch fire, or electrocute workers and homeowners. What simple tools and fixtures keep computers safe?

Rubber Grommets, Cable Glands, and Threaded Standoffs

Computers, like all electronics, require proper insulation to run smoothly and safely. Consumers can feed wiring, cables, and cords through rubber grommets to protect them from jagged metal pieces or sharp corners and edges. Grommets may be circular or oblong, and some grommets are hearty enough to withstand high temperatures and pressures. When building or repairing a PC, consider installing grommets to protect wiring in computer cases and absorb vibrations from internal computer fans. Cable glands, similarly, fit over the ends of wiring and safely connect computer cords and cables. Cable glands may be made out of plastic, aluminum, brass, or stainless steel.

Finally, threaded standoffs separate or elevate specific electrical or computer parts to prevent systems from overheating. Standoffs can be made from metal or plastic, and the threads allow heights and spatial relationships to be easily adjusted.

Cable Ties

Homeowners and workers regularly put themselves at risk by neglecting basic computer safety. How? Keeping all types of wiring, especially common computer wires, organized and tangle-free is critical. Tangled and loose wiring, or even cords trailing along the floor, are much more susceptible to damage, wear, and fraying. Simple tools, such as cable ties, can help group and organize wires, while keeping them intact and secure. Workers may want to choose lightweight, but sturdy, nylon zip ties. Homeowners, on the other hand, often use Velcro or releasable zip ties.

Electrical and fire safety, and avoiding serious accidents and injury, depends on reigning in everyday dangers and hazards. Stay safe while working with computers by using rubber grommets, cable glands, and plastic or threaded standoffs.

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