Safety Practices – CompTIA Network+ N10-006 – 5.6

There are some fundamental procedures that you should use to keep yourself safe. In this video, you’ll learn about equipment grounding, installation safety, MSDS information, and fire suppression.
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As we begin this conversation about safety, one important consideration is around the use of power. Power is obviously a very dangerous thing. You want to be very careful when you’re working around devices that are connected to a power source. If you are working on a computer or a printer or a network device and it is connected to power, you may want to disconnect from these power sources before working on anything inside of those devices. And if you aren’t sure, you shouldn’t touch anything inside of these components.

If you’re working with power supplies, for instance, you may decide not to replace individual components within a power supply but instead swap out the entire power supply and everything inside of it. You have to be very careful about high-voltage devices. Our routers and switches, especially very large routers and switches, use a lot of voltage. And we have other devices like laser printers which also have a very high amount of voltage inside of them.

One important safety feature that you’ll find on practically all of the equipment that you will use is an electrical ground. This electrical ground is used to divert any stray voltages that might somehow get on the metal of that device. And instead of sending those voltages into you, they’ll send the voltages into the ground. You’ll see these ground connectors not only on the power plugs you’re using. You might also see them connected to the devices inside of our data centers.

Especially if you have large equipment racks, there may be a ground connection that is wired directly to the rack. That way, if any power finds itself onto the rack of metal itself it will all be diverted through that ground. That’s why it’s important that if you see one of these ground connections, make sure it is connected very solidly. And you do not want to remove a ground connection from any of your devices.

If you’ve ever worked with these 19-inch racks in a data center or even a small closet, you know that putting the equipment into the rack can be very difficult. You’re at an odd angle, and the equipment itself can be very heavy. There are some specialized forklifts that you can get for 19-inch racks that fits perfectly into the rack and it’s able to handle the weight while you’re concentrating on simply fastening it to the 19-inch rack.

The racks themselves should also be safe. You want to fasten those to the wall or to the ground so that there’s no chance that that rack might fall over. You also want to be sure to put the heavier devices near the bottom of the rack to avoid it from being top heavy. And you want to be sure there’s plenty of space to move on all sides so that you’re able to get access to the equipment, regardless of the angle but you’re using. One good idea is to have the proper tools. So you may want to have electric screwdriver or drill, and that way you can get all of your equipment installed safely inside the rack.

The components that we’re installing in our data center racks and in our offices are going to include an MSDS. This is a Material Safety Data Sheet, and this gives you information on how you can use this equipment and maintain the safety while you’re using it. An MSDS is going to have product information. It will have information about the company. It will tell you what components make up this particular product. And it will give you hazard information of what you should look for when using the product.

There will be first aid measures, fire-fighting measures, what you should do if anything associated with this product was to leak or be released into the environment, and many other details that are associated with the safety of this product.

If there is a fire in a data center, you don’t really want to pour a lot of water on the anything that’s connected electrically. You instead want to be able to use a very specialized type of fire suppression. These are usually inert gases or some type of chemicals that are used to suppress any type of fire that might be in an electronic type of use.

You can usually see a tank that might have a storage in a data center that’s sitting off to the side. And that’s where all of this fire suppression chemicals are being kept inside of the data center. And there will be warning signs other informational signs as you’re going in and out of the data center that describe the type of fire suppression that’s in use.

These fire suppression systems are also integrated into the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and they usually will provide some type of monitoring for carbon monoxide. And if your fire suppression system does go off, the HVAC is designed to stop sending any type of air flow so that you can keep those chemicals within the data center.