Investigators determined the fire. in a Portland dental office was caused by overheating computer equipment. The fire caused an estimated $642,000 of damage. While we can only speculate what type of computer equipment caused this fire and why, there are various actions that can be taken to protect a dental office and any other business from fires caused by overheating computer equipment.
Too often proper implementation and placement is overlooked when installing computer equipment in a dental office. Over the past years technology has become an essential part of a dental office. Computers are now placed in dental operatory rooms and many times the placement is as hidden away from the patients view as possible. However these computers need proper air circulation to avoid overheating. Just as importantly the computers need to be cleaned to avoid dust buildup inside that can create a perfect environment to start a fire.
How can an overheating computer lead to a fire? While there are various ways that this can happen here is one potential option. A front desk computer tower is installed underneath the desk at the front desk. Overtime the computer collects and builds up dust, depending on the environment this could take only a few months to happen but so many dental offices go years without proper cleaning of the computer equipment. The dust in the computer builds up and causes the internal processor fan to stop spinning. Once the processor fan stops spinning the computer could reach extremely high temperatures and with enough dust build up could lead to a fire.
How to prevent overheating of computer equipment? Dental offices are usually maintained very clean and most have cleaning crews that come in every night to clean the office, this however does not prevent the inside of a computer from building up dust. Follow the following tips:
- Have computers professionally cleaned at least every 6 months
- Check placement of computer equipment and make sure fans have proper circulation
- In server rooms/closets always check temperatures, keep it clean and make appropriate changes for proper cooling.
For more information the computers experts at OCS Onsite are always eager to help. Call 877-333-6532.
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