A desktop printer is probably one of the safest pieces of electronic equipment in an office or home. However, it is important to take standard precautions while using a printer, whether at home or in an office.
Remember, your printer is an electronic device with hot, moving parts; it uses chemicals (ink or toner) and is powered by electricity. Therefore, it pays to follow common safety rules while using various printing devices.
Here in this post, we will shed light on the nine most important safety rules that you should follow while using a printer. Following these guidelines is important for the safety of both the user and the printer.
1. Stable Base
Do not place your printer on just any table, desk, or chair. A printing device needs a flat, stable base on which it can operate properly.
The surface should ideally extend beyond the base of your printing device in all directions. It is also a good idea to leave ample space in front of the printer so that the (printed) paper can be ejected (and collected) safely.
Remember, your printer may not function properly if it’s tilted.
Many laser printers weigh over 20 pounds. Vibrations caused during printing can shake a desk or table if it’s not sturdy enough. Accidental falls can result in costly printer damages and injuries.
2. Avoid Common Mechanical Hazards
Your printer, whether it’s an inkjet or a laser printer, draws in the paper (or any other substrate) through rollers.
Depending on the size of the printer, these rollers can also pull in fingers, long hair, jewelry, etc. with less or more force.
Large-format printers, in particular, have more powerful rollers that can cause injuries. Such printers are normally used by artists, engineers, architects, etc.
Be sure to keep your hands away from your printer’s paper-feed trays while it’s printing a photograph or a document. Also, keep long hairs tied up and avoid getting too close to the printer with dangling jewelry.
3. Hot Parts
Laser and LED printers have heated-components that are hot enough to cause minor or serious burns. The parts inside a laser printer can especially be very hot if it has been in use for a few minutes.
When you need to replace a Canon toner cartridge, be sure to allow it to cool down for at least 10 minutes.
4. Ink and Toner
Refilling ink cartridges is a bad idea. But you should also be careful when you are replacing an ink or toner cartridge. You may end up staining your skin, clothes, area rug, or upholstery quite easily if you are not careful.
Always store used cartridges in plastic to eliminate the possibility of leakage. If you buy ink and toner cartridges in bulk, remember to store them in a cool, dark place. Exposure to heat and direct sunlight can damage a printer cartridge.
Keep ink and toner cartridges away from the reach of children. Ingesting printer ink or toner can have health implications.
5. Using Cables
Do not use just any cord or cable to power a printer. Doing so can at times cause short-circuits, fires, or electric shocks.
Always use the power cord, USB cable, and AC adapter shipped with the device.
Avoid using these cords or cables with any other electronic device.
If you find that a power cable is damaged or frayed, have it repaired or replaced at the earliest.
6. Power Source
Make sure to always use the correct type of power source. This information is usually indicated on the AC adapter.
Place your printer close to an electrical power socket or wall outlet so that the plug can be safely unplugged when required.
Do not plug your inkjet or laser printer into a power outlet that is on the same circuit that routinely switches on/off.
Related Read – What Does it Mean When Hp Printer is Offline
7. Choose the Right Location for Your Printer
Do not place your printer in just any corner in your house or office.
You should, for instance, avoid places that experience rapid and frequent changes in heat, humidity, dust, vibrations, etc.
If there is a radiator nearby, do not place your printer next to it.
Some printers can also get damaged due to prolonged exposure to sunlight.
8. Cleaning a Printer
A printer will require routine cleaning and maintenance. This is when most printer users tend to ignore standard safety guidelines.
For instance, you may be tempted to use aerosol products to quickly clean your printer. Don’t do that.
Aerosol products may contain inflammable gases. Using such products to clean an electrical device can cause a fire hazard.
Remember to unplug your printer before you begin cleaning it. Avoid cleaning the AC adapter with wet hands.
Do not spill any liquid on the AC adapter or components inside the printer.
Use a dampened piece of cloth to clean your printer; it should not be soaking wet.
There are specific cleaning solutions available for cleaning printing devices. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use them.
Avoid using alcohol to clean your printer; it can discolor the body of your printer.
9. Environmental Considerations
If you are using a portable photo printer, chances are that it uses a built-in or external battery unit.
While disposing of your printer, remember to follow battery disposal guidelines applicable in your area.
Printer ink may contain chemicals that cause irritation in the skin or eyes. So, it is a good idea not to handle printer ink cartridges with bare hands. Wear a pair of gloves when you replace ink cartridges or open your printer for a routine inspection.
If you come in contact with printer ink, wash it off quickly.
You don’t have to throw away used printer ink cartridges. You can recycle them by donating them to a charity or sell them online to get a discount on your next purchase.
This way, fewer ink cartridges will end up in our planet’s landfills, where they will take decades and even centuries to decompose completely.
In addition to the safety precautions discussed above, be sure to ask your family members or employees to follow all warnings and instructions marked on the printing device.
George Mendelson is the PR Media Manager at Inkjetsclub, a nationwide leading ink and toner retailer. One of his passions is educating and helping people through all the issues related to Printers, Ink Cartridges, and Toners.