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Stay safe, unplug your laptop

Stay safe, unplug your laptop

Translation isn’t really a dangerous job. The worst thing that is likely to happen during a normal day at the office is that someone will criticise your work and there is no physical danger, is there? I mean we just sit here and type, don’t we? That’s what I thought anyway. Then, a couple of days ago I was typing away when I heard pop, pop, pop bang and, to my horror, the power cord to my laptop went up in flames! I quickly disconnected the pin from the laptop and unplugged it from the mains. No harm was done other than a slight scorch mark on my desktop. However, it scared the life out of me. Imagine if I hadn’t been in my office when it happened. I often go out and leave my computers switched on and my iPad and electronic devices charging. Never again!

A quick Google search is enough to reveal that this was not an isolated incident. Big brand computer manufacturers have been forced to recall millions of fire risk power cables that have been seen to overheat and melt. The dangers of using cheap or counterfeit electrical cables and chargers are even greater. Most of the faults in these devices are invisible to users, but involve hidden internal components. No cheap charger cables for me…

Experts recommend unplugging the following electrical appliances to save energy and money as well as for safety reasons: desktop computers, laptop computers, televisions, DVD players and VCRs, modems, cable TV boxes, cordless phones, stereos and radios, coffeemakers, lamps, toasters and iPods and electronic gadgets which sap energy through a plug-in transformer.

Things like your satellite receiver and alarm clock need to stay on for obvious reasons because you might want to record a TV program and you need to get up in the morning, but why not take a trip around your house and decide see what you can unplug.

What would have been the consequences if my laptop, a top-of-the-range, expensive model that cost me €1,000, had gone up in flames? Would my household insurance policy have covered it?  I have just checked my insurance policy and I would have been covered, but it wasn’t something I had taken into consideration, so you might like to check your own.

I hope this blog post will inspire you to take electrical safety into consideration in your own office.

 Juliet Allaway

Written by editor