Sunday, November 22, 2009

Protect your digital files - looking after computer equipment

Strategies need to be in place in societies to protect their computer equipment. Some points to consider:

Implement a policy ensuring that all computer equipment is turned off when not in use, particularly at the end of the day.

Ensure that there are procedures for turning off equipment correctly.

After shutting down equipment, turn off the power point.

It is adisable to unplug computers and other electrical equipment when not in use.

Cover computers and scanners to protect them from dust.

Never have liquids near computers.

Ensure that computer and other cords are kept out of the way of people
* OH&S - people can trip over cords
* a dislodged cord can result in computer or other equipment turning off

Keep up to date with all government regulations

Ensure that equipment is safe
* Check that power cords are not frayed
* Check that power cords are not tangled
* Check that not too many appliances are plugged into a powerboard (might overload system)
* Do not 'piggy-back' double adaptors
* Check that indicators for maximum loads for power boards are visible
* Electrical appliances should be checked for safety each year
* There are firms that test and tag electrical equipment
* Local Councils may be able to provide advice on checking electrical appliances

Power surge devices are available to protect equipment and the power supply

Some power boards include surge protection

Universal power supply devices are available if computers need to be left on for periods of time. The time that they operate during a power cut is limited but for short disruptions to supply they can be useful.

As with telephones, turn off computers during electical storms

Ensure that the building is safe
* Security sytem installed
* Security sytem turned on when building is unoccupied
* Have an arrangement with neighbours to keep an eye on the property and provide them with names of members to contact if anything suspicious occurs
* Ensure that correct and up to date fire extinguishers are available for use
* Ensure that members know how to use equipment
* Contact local fire department for an assessment and information about fire prevention procedures
* A local fire brigade member may be prepared to speak to society members about fire prevention and safety
* Ensure gutters and roofs are kept clear of leaves and other debris to avoid water intrusion and/or threat of fire from embers if in a bushfire prone area

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