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Old 01-10-2017, 09:31 PM #1
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Default Don't hand a laser to someone you wouldn't hand a loaded gun

Lots of vets know all this already, but for newbies like me, it can help to show how dangerous lasers are. Firearm safety is very closely related to laser safety. Here are some firearm safety rules compared to laser safety.

1. Always Keep The Muzzle Pointed In A Safe Direction - Never point your laser at anyone, or vehicle. This could permanently blind them depending on the power. Lasers aren't a toy.

2. Firearms Should Be Unloaded When Not Actually In Use - Always remove your batteries when you are finished using your laser. If for example you had children and they found it and thought it was a toy, they could end up permanently blinding themselves or simply burning themselves.

3. Don't Rely On Your Gun's "Safety" - Same goes for lasers. Electronics are not 100% fail-proof and things can and will go wrong. If for some reason you need to look at the laser which would normally be unsafe, make sure it has no batteries in and you were safety glasses, and STILL be very careful even with those precautions. You never know what can happen.

4. Be Sure Of Your Target And What's Beyond It - Light is very fast and living things do not have time to react. Make sure you are pointing it in a safe direction. Light can also travel for a long time, if you know there is a road down where you're pointing, don't point it there. Even if it's far away it's still a bad idea.

5. Use Correct Ammunition - Use the correct batteries. Make sure they are facing the correct way as well, because some lasers have reverse polarity and can be broken by putting the batteries in the wrong way.

6. Always Wear Eye And Ear Protection When Shooting - You can be permanently blinded even by looking at the dot on the wall of some lasers, eyes are priceless and you should spend as much as you need to to get a good pair of safety glasses. Survival Lasers (Survival Laser USA Home) offers great safety glasses. Make sure to get one that covers your laser.

7. Don't Alter Or Modify Your Gun - This really only applies to people who don't know what they are doing. You could hurt yourself or end up breaking the laser.

That's all! Lasers are awesome, but very dangerous. Remember the dangers but don't forget to enjoy them!


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Old 01-10-2017, 09:43 PM #2
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Default Re: Don't hand a laser to someone you wouldn't hand a loaded gun

I actually kind of like this analogy. Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:04 PM #3
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Default Re: Don't hand a laser to someone you wouldn't hand a loaded gun

Treat it like you would a loaded weapon. Good analogy indeed.
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:28 PM #4
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Default Re: Don't hand a laser to someone you wouldn't hand a loaded gun

Exactly. The title says it all. Unfortunately people without good sense put this hobby in a bad light. Some men you just can't reach...how does it go?
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:46 PM #5
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Default Re: Don't hand a laser to someone you wouldn't hand a loaded gun

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Originally Posted by dden4012 View Post
Exactly. The title says it all. Unfortunately people without good sense put this hobby in a bad light. Some men you just can't reach...how does it go?
What we've got here is failure to communicate.
Some men, you just can't reach.

Seems like stupid people just won't be communicated to about issues of safety.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:23 AM #6
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Default Re: Don't hand a laser to someone you wouldn't hand a loaded gun

To some degree the analogy is valid, but for a laser to do serious harm someone would have to hit you right in the pupil with it, and that would at worst result in the loss of sight in one eye, not total blindness, certainly virtually no chance of death.

When it comes to situation with small children around taking precautions like removing batteries would certainly be wise, or just keep them away from lasers entirely as those little brats perfectly know how to shove batteries in things to make them work in general. They are possibly also stupid enough to look down the barrel when given the chance.

But apart from that lasers do not fire lethal projectiles really. Even causing a burn by accident is not that likely as you'd have to keep the laser fixed on a spot for some time for that to happen. Just waving it around when powered up would probably not be very dangerous at all, whereas doing that with a loaded gun and the safety off could kill somone at a fair distance.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:35 AM #7
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Default Re: Don't hand a laser to someone you wouldn't hand a loaded gun

Hi Benm. You're right, however I think life without even one eye would reduce quality of life by a significant and unacceptable amount. I honestly feel very sorry for those with no vision from birth. I was recently (within the past three months) showed my friend Luke my lasers and they all had batteries in them at the time. He knows how dangerous they are and we were both playing with them with goggles but after walking away and coming back he was staring down the lens of my 800mw IR laserbtb laser wondering why it wouldn't turn on when he pressed the button. Fortunately the key wasn't around and the shutter was closed but it was a scary feeling of adrenaline and me thinking to myself. "How would I feel if I carelessly allowed someone with no knowledge of the possible harm they could do, went even partially blind on my watch." That would be like teaching a child how to use a circular saw and then leaving them alone for a half an hour to have lunch. For that reason I always remove the batteries in my lasers I'm not using whenever they're in any situation where I am displaying them to my friends or others.

The consequences of misuse are not the same as death but they are very regretful.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:57 AM #8
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Default Re: Don't hand a laser to someone you wouldn't hand a loaded gun

With IR lasers especially, and something he should have been aware of before handling it. If the batteries would have been in there he might as well have blinded himself staring into that nice cherry dull light for god knows how long.

Staring down the barrel of a laser with batteries in it is just about as stupid as doing so with a loaded gun to see if the bullet got stuck or something like that. Machining is a good example of this. Perhaps not even a circular saw, but even something like a dremel could easily take an eye out when not wearing goggles. If you see at what speed things like cut-off wheels explode sometimes it's just a matter of luck of not getting them into your eye really.

Then again being blind in one eye is not -that- bad of an outcome in the long run. My father is blind in one eye (not in any way laser related!) and still gets to go about his life fairly normally.

You do need two eyes for proximate depth perception, so that can cause problems like missteps, although your brain will adjust to it reasonably well over time.

The main thing that would scare me about being blind in one eye is the problem of only having one left. If i were to be blinded in one eye i'd probably abandon doing anything with lasers and use eye protection for many more things in fear of going totally blind by damaging the remaining eye.

Many eye injuries are not laser related at all and preventable when using proper safety gear.
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:02 AM #9
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Default Re: Don't hand a laser to someone you wouldn't hand a loaded gun

No, the batteries were in! That's why I changed my habits! I said I fortunately had the key myself and the shutter was closed.
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:22 AM #10
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Default Re: Don't hand a laser to someone you wouldn't hand a loaded gun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benm View Post

Machining is a good example of this. Perhaps not even a circular saw, but even something like a dremel could easily take an eye out when not wearing goggles. If you see at what speed things like cut-off wheels explode sometimes it's just a matter of luck of not getting them into your eye really.

...

Many eye injuries are not laser related at all and preventable when using proper safety gear.
100% agree. I learned my lesson the hard way (which I knew would come eventually). I was grinding down a small bolt to size with an angle grinder without goggles, and just like that, struck in the eye by a spark. My mentality at the time was it's one short job and I won't be there for long, but it kinda relates to the "wear a seatbelt because most accidents happen 2 blocks from home" quote.

Long story short after a week or so of doctors I had to get the piece of metal removed and since it was ferrous it rusted in my eye and had to get that removed as well. Doc said I got lucky and was far enough away from the center of my eye to make a full recovery, and that I did. Lesson learned don't be careless and just because you've got some experience don't mean accidents can't happen. Now on I won't enter my shop without goggles. Was a very stupid and regrettable move on my part.

Same goes for lasers and basically any other eye-hazardous activity.
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:31 AM #11
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Default Re: Don't hand a laser to someone you wouldn't hand a loaded gun

Yeah, these things happen. I've done a fair amount of chemical lab work before and goggles are mandatory there. Those are not only to keep spats of chemicals from getting in your eyes, but also for potential mechanical inuries possibly caused by other people in the lab such as explosions or imposions when working with vacuum systems (they are rare but often violent).

I don't remember who it was, but someone on this forum actually got some solder into his eye when -building- the laser (or driver). Usually not a really big deal, but if it lands on the cornea in the pupil area you might be looking at a transplant in the worst case.
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:13 PM #12
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Default Re: Don't hand a laser to someone you wouldn't hand a loaded gun

I'd add that someone that appreciates the gravity of a gun still might not understand the danger of a laser. I once handed a presentation pointer to a classmate of mine who I'd totally trust with a gun, and he proceeded to shine it in several people's faces.



Needless to say, he doesn't know about my lasers.
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