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Violation of these rules may result in a substantial grade reduction or other action.

The cautions and warnings outlined below and discussed in class cannot cover all possible conditions and situations that may occur while working with circuits, tools and test equipment.  Each person must supply and use common sense, diligence and caution and must have respect for potential danger and for safety precautions, which are factors that cannot be supplied by written materials or instruction.  There is no guarantee of safety.

  1. Students will be given a safety test to be graded PDF (see the third page of the PDF) covering the material below.  Numeric placement on this list does not necessarily imply a level of importance.

  2. Classroom activities are not homework. They are to be constructed and tested only in the classroom under appropriate supervision, following classroom safety rules and schedules, using all necessary safety equipment.  Materials used to construct activities will not be supplied for assembly outside the classroom.  Items built to take home should only be used with adult supervision.
  1. Approved eye protection (conforming to ANSI Z87.1) is used whenever appropriate.  A student without them will not be allowed to participate in that activity and may be required to leave the room.  Activities cannot be "made up" or completed elsewhere, so the student may lose that grade.

  2. If you are in the least doubt about how to proceed or how to use any tool or item of equipment, you should ask only the instructor for help before you continue.

  3. Report to the instructor or technician damaged tools, equipment, missing items or accessories and tools or equipment not working properly.

  4. Operate equipment only when the instructor is present in the room.

  5. Students are respsonsible for keeping the classroom free of their refuse and material waste (filings, dust, cut leads, etc.) and for keeping the the floor unobstructed (no cords or hoses) and clean.

  6. Personal electronic components, private projects and outside equipment are allowed in the classroom only with the instructor’s prior approval.

  7. Passing just this course will NOT qualify you to repair your radio, T.V. or computer, service appliances, or use a title such as “electronics technician.”

  8. Even when switched off, equipment may still be unsafe.  Treat components as though they may be thermally hot and as if they might still have a dangerous electrical charge.  Cells and batteries that are included with activities must not be allowed to touch metal when transported (no pocket change, binder clips, etc).

  9. Pass tools to others handles first, gently.

  10. The hot glue gun's tip and the hot glue are indeed HOT.  Never touch the glue gun tip and wait for several minutes before touching the applied glue.

  11. Before leaving a soldering iron (or other tool), make sure it is off, cool, stopped and then return it to the tool cart.

  12. Activities in this class should be modified, or components substituted, only with the instructor's permission, because modifications might make them unsafe.  These safety guidelines apply to the activities designed for this class and may not be adequate for other circuits or other classes.

  13. Use tools only for their intended purpose (usually their only purpose).  Avoid damage to the work, tool breakage and/or injury to the student.

  14. Injuries must be reported immediately to the instructor.  Students may be required to complete a school accident report (PDF).

  15. Students are allowed to operate equipment, tools and test gear only if they have been given instruction in class, they have current permission AND they have a current assignment.

  16. Electrical shock should be considered deadly and electricity treated with respect and care.

  17. Wash away any chemical or solvent coming in contact with your body with lots of water.

  18. The type of fire extinguisher seen in THIS room may be used to extinguish any type of fire, including electrical fires.

  19. Water should not be used to extinguish an electrical fire.

  20. The proper procedure for using an extinguisher is to follow the PASS acronym:

    1. Pull the pin.  This allows the device to be activated.
    2. Aim at the base of the fire.  Put out the fuel, not the flame.
    3. Squeeze the lever slowly.  Releasing the handle will stop the extinguisher.
    4. Sweep from side to side.  Start this from a safe distance and move closer as the flames are reduced.  Do not endanger yourself

      Read the extinguisher's instructions before you need to use it.

      Remember: "P.A.S.S. the fire-extinguisher please!"

  21. Do not lift heavy objects.  Ask for assistance.

  22. In the event of an alarm, students should gather their personal belongings, follow the safest route to the meeting place, if that area and route are safe, and wait for the instructor to take roll.

    This is discussed in:
          EMERGENCIES: Classroom Emergency Procedures

  23. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) may be viewed anytime you are in this class.

  24. Material Safety Data Sheets contain health and pertinent data (reactivity, flammability, inhalation data, etc.) on possible nearby hazardous material.

  25. Hazardous material sheets are located on the materials room wall.

  26. Working on "mains" voltage circuits with the equipment plugged into an a.c. outlet is never O.K. in this class.

  27. All students should wash their hands after an in-class activity.

  28. When cutting wire, the cut end should be directed downward so the cut part falls to the floor (to prevent the flying wire end from hurting someone).

  29. Knife blades like the “hobby” knives used in class must be covered anytime when not in use.

  30. Long hair is dangerous around machinery and must be tied up and back.

  31. Loose clothing must be fastened, and long sleeves rolled up before using rotating tools or machinery (such as a handheld drill).

  32. Running, throwing objects and other inappropriate activities are never allowed in class.

  33. Be attentive and focused when using machine or hand tools.  Don't get distracted.

  34. Do not distract or try to "scare" anyone working with equipment in the classroom.  Injury may occur.

  35. The only time when two people are allowed to operate a soldering iron or other single tool in the lab at the same time is when one of the two people is the instructor.

  36. Solder, solvents and other cleaning materials should be used only when two people are present (and instructor in the room) and in a well-ventilated area.

  37. Some classes require that students complete a Participation in a High Risk Class/Activity (PDF) form to participate in some activities.


  1. Soldering is never done in this class unless the person soldering has received proper instruction on soldering and the device(s) to be soldered.

  2. Approved safety glasses or goggles MUST be worn while soldering.

  3. Never hold solder in your mouth and never remove wire insulation ("strip" wire) with your teeth.

  4. Never solder to a live circuit because the soldering iron tip is usually grounded and because you may get electrocuted.

  5. Avoid solder fumes and work in a well-ventilated area.

  6. Passing a soldering iron directly from one person to another is not allowed and is potentially dangerous.

  7. Shaking excess solder from a soldering iron tip or from the item soldered is potentially very dangerous as well as messy.

  8. Always let the soldering iron cool completely at the end of the activity before returning it.

  9. Wash your hands after soldering.


  10. Violation of the above safety rules and/or disregard for potential danger and for safety precautions may result in a substantial grade reduction and/or suspension or revocation of the student's use of school equipment which may adversely affect the semester grade and lead to failure.
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             "When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up."
                         Randy Pausch, professor & author
                         The Last Lecture, 9-18-07

Pages ©2010 W. Michael Robinson



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