General Laser Safety Tips

Here are some general safety tips laser owners should follow:

- Do not allow minors to use a laser pointer unsupervised. Furthermore, only allow adults to use laser pointers after they have understood the responsibilities and risks that it carries.

- Never shine a laser pointer at anyone, especially their face. Even temporary exposure can cause significant damage to the eye. Laser pointers are designed to point at inanimate objects.

- Always be conscious of where you're pointing. Avoid pointing a laser at any reflective surfaces. Unintentionally reflected beams can easily violate tip #2.

- Never use your laser pointer in the vicinity of airports, highways, construction sites or anywhere individuals need to constantly pay attention to their work for their own safety. A split-second distraction--a sudden laser light in a plane cockpit, for example--can be disastrous.

- Be especially cautious around high-powered lasers, like green laser pointers used for stargazing. They are far stronger than the red pointers commonly used during lectures. And do not purchase a laser pointer at all if it does not identify its class or power.

- Do not purchase a laser pointer if it does not have a caution or danger sticker on it identifying its class. Report suspicious devices to the FDA.


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