Have you just purchased a 3D printer? Are you excited about your new buy and anxious to get it up and running? If so, you should know that 3D printers are potential fire hazards. Between their electrical components, their heating elements, and the chemicals you'll need to do the printing jobs, you're creating a dangerous environment if you don't take the following steps before putting your new unit to use.
Keep Your Printer Away from Flammable Materials at All Times
If you plan on keeping your printer on a wooden table or plywood stand, it's time to reconsider its location. Your printer should rest on a fireproof surface at all times. If you have a garage with a cement floor, this is the ideal location for your unit; keep it on a metal stand near the center of the cement floor so if a fire happens to occur, it's less likely to reach the walls and spread.
If you must keep your printer indoors, designate one room of your home for the job and keep only your printing supplies in that room. Keep your 3D printer in the center of the room, ideally in an enclosed metal housing. If you don't have an enclosed metal housing unit and can't afford to purchase one right now, a metal rack will suffice, but get an enclosed metal housing as soon as possible. The more contained your printer is, the less chance the flames will spread in the event of a fire.
Have the Right Fire Extinguisher on Hand
You should have a fire extinguisher within reach of your 3D printer at all times. The correct type of fire extinguisher to purchase for 3D printer fire safety is an ABC dry-chemical extinguisher. Class A extinguishers will extinguish flames engulfing the building materials of your home. Class B extinguishers will put out fires with combustible liquids as their fuel source (like the acetone in your printer), and class C fire extinguishers will take care of electrical fires.
Since your printer holds combustible liquid and has electrical components, and since it's located indoors, you'll need an extinguisher that provides protection against all 3 classifications of fire.
Investing In Fire Alarm Monitoring
You really shouldn't run your 3D printer unless you can be there to supervise it. Nonetheless, large projects require long print times, leaving some 3D printer owners to disregard this warning and let their units print while they're away at work or in bed sleeping. If this sounds like something you might do, it's absolutely in your best interest to invest in fire alarm monitoring.
It's cheaper than you think to get a system that promises 24/7 protection. The cost of your alarm equipment will vary depending on how many sensors you need and what type of fire alarms you choose. Once you own the equipment, though, many security companies will install it for free if you agree to pay a monthly fee for monitoring. The monthly cost of alarm monitoring can be as little as $8, and many insurance companies will offer you up to 20 percent off your bill for having a monitored alarm system installed in your home.
Once you sign on for monitoring, a signal will be sent to a central monitoring facility the second a fire alarm in your house goes off. The facility will then notify you and your local emergency services right away. Speak with a representative from a company like Fyr Fyter Inc to learn more about fire alarm monitoring.
If you've just brought a 3D printer into your home, you've boosted your risk of experiencing a fire, and therefore you should boost your home's level of fire protection, too. Before you start up your unit for the first time, make sure it's located in as safe a place as possible. Also, make sure you've got the right kind of fire extinguisher on hand, and sign up for a fire monitoring service that will notify both you and the fire department immediately if your printer catches on fire while you're asleep or away from home.