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Thread: Sh1t happens QUICKLY & fire extinguishers...

  1. #1
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Sh1t happens QUICKLY & fire extinguishers...

    So, Monday morning starts with a bang. A customer phones at 7H30 and totally does her nut. It's F*ck this & F*ck that and your service is sh!t and and and...I think that she must have a terrible hangover from the weekend. Then another customer arrives and we spend a couple of hours trying to see why the one laser doesn't cut 100% all the time but only 99.9% some of the time...

    ..and lo and behold...one staff member comes running in, smoke billowing as he opens the door, and tells us that the other laser is on fire....uh...ok...thankfully my Zim guy had the sense to hit the emergency stop and put the fire out with the dry powder fire extinguisher.

    What did we learn today...

    1. Monday sucks!...but then we all know that!
    2. Sh1t happens very quickly.
    3. Never leave a machine unmanned... (thankfully the one laser is in the same workshop as the staff and the other laser is right next to me)
    4. Don't mess around when it comes to fire safety....That fire would have burnt the entire place down in no time at all if it wasn't for Samuel and the fire extinguisher.

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    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

  2. #2
    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Adrian
    That is horrible, I hope you can salvage that. I have spare belts for my laser that you can use if need be. I hope nothing warped your frame and you can still get focus once you have cleaned up.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

  3. #3
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    The guys put the fire out fairly quickly so we're lucky in that regard.

    I've more or less cleaned the machine. The belt is a write off and so is the air pipe. I haven't looked at the lens but I'm sure it will be fine. I'm sure I'll be able to get a belt from one of the local suppliers.

    It is amazing how quickly it caught alight though. I never gave fire much thought. I've cut myself a couple of times and I always just shrugged it off.

    A lesson for me in vigilance....I am damn lucky because I often left the machines running unmanned...never again!
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about the fire, the machine doesn't look too bad, hopefully it's just pipes and belt to get it up and running.

    A couple of years ago we had a fire in our fabrication shop that was caused by a battery charger that just decided to spontaneously combust. It happened overnight when nobody was there and luckily the charger was standing on a solid steel workbench. Several items around the charger also went up and there was a large charred area on the roof which was about 7 meters above but somehow it didn't spread beynd the bench.

    I've heard of several similar fires since where everyday electronic items have just burst into flames for no apparent reason. I've since fitted smoke alarms that are interlinked with the security alarm to both workshops and my house.
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I was working for a transport company as a programmer many years ago. I remember sitting at my desk and looking up to see a Unix terminal on a lady's desk about 10m away spontaneously combust. One moment she's typing away happily and the next thing there's flames. Talk about software going to hell :-)
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Platinum Member pmbguy's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your laser Adrian, I also had an incident . On Sat a power surge hit my laptop, cell chargers, dvd and office printer - all stuffed. At the mo my office keeps on tripping although nothing is plugged in. My neighbour said his cell charger burst into flames (I will try get a pic). Thankfully I had all client equipment unplugged at the time...having allot of bad days in a row.
    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Just had a customer complaint a R10k job printed on a too thin board. I am going to see them to see what I can salvage
    Thanks for starting this Adrian!
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

  8. #8
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    pmbguy...eish...

    Ian, not nice. I not doing any adhoc work anymore. I got tired of having people on my back making demands. I recently turned down a huge order as well. It is a lot of work but the profit vs. risk just doesn't work for me. We don't make a hell of a lot of money and the problem is that the material, screen printed 4mm Plexiglass is very expensive and of course for my account if anything goes wrong.

    We currently have a lot of work for a very small customer base and I am working to properly document and present my product range. My products will be made and sold at my own pace and that is simply the way that it is. My current customer base isn't too demanding and I am happy to serve them.

    To get back to fire safety. This incident also highlighted the danger of having a messy workshop. We have way too much stuff standing around that could catch fire. ...time for a very serious clean up.

    There is one thing to be said for having $h1t happen to us all the time; it doesn't faze us anymore, we simply take it in our stride and move on. My wife just looks over at the whole lot and goes "oh well, Monday mornings...it's just one of those things!"
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    It seems like quite a few of you had "bad" days. Really sorry to hear this and hope that you can all recover very quickly and be up and running as soon as possible.
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  10. #10
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Ian, the fire was entirely my fault. The laser tends to flash back off the grid and make marks on the underside of the job. I put spacers in between the grid and the 4mm Plexiglas to stop this from happening. The spacers were largeish blocks of 2.3mm chipboard. Doing this worked quite well but this time I turned the speed down and cut quite slowly to make sure that the laser cuts through first time. I think the combination of low speed, high power, hot Plexiglas, hot chipboard and no airflow was the cause.

    The lesson of course is if one uses spacers to make sure that they still vent well and also that they do not add to the heat generated by the cut. ...we live and learn!
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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