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Fiber Optic Safety: Light Hazards

fiber optics cable

Fiber optic technology represents the future of communication in more ways than one. Not only is it a faster and more efficient means of delivering data, it’s also a safer alternative to traditional materials. Fiber optic cables carry no electricity, eliminating the danger of electrocution, and it isn’t a source of heat, keeping properties safe from combustion and fires.

These systems are also prized for their cost-effectiveness. Transceivers such as the GLC-SX-MMD are always used as examples of modules that can help people save hundreds of dollars. But, even with all these benefits, people shouldn’t carelessly tinker with their systems. There are still reasons why technicians receive special training to handle these cables and modules.

What You Can’t See

For example, many fiber optic cables emit infrared light, which is invisible to the naked human eye. This kind of light can damage our eyes without our ever realizing it. The power levels of common fibers range from 50 nW to 10 mW, which have the ability to jump through the fiber itself. People don’t have to look directly into the fiber cable to expose their eyes to the infrared light.

Many homeowners mistakenly assume looking into a live fiber is safe when they see their technicians doing something similar when conducting a continuity check. They actually use a visual tracer, usually a modified flashlight, to shine a light down the fiber to look for any anomalies in how the cable transmits light.

Professionals and Tools

There are several other specialized tools that technicians use to ensure the health of a fiber cable system. We could go over each of them and their uses, but that would be a better subject for another post. For now, it’s enough that people realize that there are still some hazards they should be made aware of, for the sake of their eyes.

Fiber optics systems are quickly becoming a major part of everyday life for many people across the world. Everyone needs to learn as much as possible about using them properly, and avoid any mishaps. We can become your partner in furthering your education in fiber optics systems. Contact us today for any information you think you need to improve your own network and operations.

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