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Fire Safety

Lasers use a high intensity beam of light to “burn” through material. This beam can generate high temperatures in materials you are cutting or engraving.  It is possible for material inside your machine to ignite and start a fire which can not only damage the machine but also spread beyond your laser machine. It is very important to monitor your machine at all times during cutting and engraving and be prepared to deal with a fire.

  1. Never leave your machine unattended while operating. Remain within sight and look inside frequently.
  2. A small flame similar to a candle is normal at the point the laser is cutting the machine, but this should be small and move with the laser. 
  3. Masking can be a source of flammable substance, easier to catch fire than the material you are cutting or engraving. In particular Diode Lasers generate more heat when cutting acrylic, and masking should be removed from the acrylic when cutting. If there is scorching or discoloration of the material, then a thin layer of dish soap can prevent this.
  4. The following products are important to have on hand in case a small fire occurs
  • Fire Blanket
  • Fire Extinguisher. Be aware that a fire extinguisher will spread a residue on the machine which could be hard to clean or damage the machine. But here is one example of a fire extinguisher with a nontoxic, biodegradable solution. 

What to do if a fire occurs. Only take measures that are safe in the situation.
  1. Unplug the machine
  2. If safe to do so, use a fire blanket to extinguish
  3. Next step would be using a fire extinguisher.
  4. If this is unsafe and the fire has spread then call your local emergency number and move to a safe distance.

Sherry Shine has a good YouTube video about laser fire safety. Here is a link to it:
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