Tip & How-To about Office Equipment & Supplies

Safety first when using a laser pointer

Although a laser pointer may not look it, they can be very dangerous. While they can be a very effective tool for drawing your audience's attention to things in your presentations, using them for other purposes can cause a lot of damage. Following a few simple safety tips will ensure that no one will get hurt while you're presenting.

- Never point your laser pointer at an other person, especially not the face. Just because a laser pointer may not be dangerous when pointed at the skin of another person it is still a good practice to never use it to point at people.

- Never look directly into the laser beam, even if you are sure that the strength of the laser is not high. Even a low powered beam can cause some damage to the eyes. Eye damage can be permanent so it shouldn't be treated lightly.

- Check for reflective surfaces before you present with a laser pointer. If the beam is reflected off an other surface such as a mirror or glass can be just as dangerous as pointing it directly into some one's eyes.

- There is something about a laser pointer that makes people act like children. I have been in many college lectures where a lecturer will use a laser pointer to make emphasis in class and students will ask to play with the pointer. Under no circumstance should you allow someone else to use your laser pointer, especially in a classroom full of people.

If you feel uneasy about using a laser pointer in your presentation you might want to look into using your computer mouse as a laser pointer. Microsoft powerpoint has a feature that will allow you to use the mouse pointer as a laser pointer on the screen. That by far will be the safest laser pointer.

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