PURCHASING A COMPLETE LASER SYSETM - SAFETY ISSUES TO CHECK FOR When purchasing a laser please check that the system has ALL of the following features ... this will ensure that the laser system complies fully with both UK and European regulations. If any one of the following is missing, the laser system will be illegal to operate within the UK: Please ensure that the laser system... 1. Is encased within a protective housing, which apart from the laser aperture, will prevent you direct access to the laser module and therefore laser radiation 2. Has a remote key switch master control; the key should be removable therefore rendering the system inoperable in your absence 3. Has visible, permanently fixed laser radiation emission warning stickers; these should be located so that viewing does not require exposure to laser radiation A full summary of the required safety features as defined in the EN60825-1 Laser Product Safety Standard, is included on one of the pages in the members area of this website. Don't fall into the trap of believing the Maximum Power rating on the yellow Laser Safety Sticker is the power of your laser. The power stated on this label is the maximum theoretical power the laser could produce and includes some headroom so the figure should not normally be exceeded. For example a laser product labelled up with <100mw on the sticker, is more likely to mean the laser is producing nearer to 50mw. The author has seen many laser users look quite down faced after putting a power meter to their laser projector, for them to see that it is producing significantly less than that stated on the label, and that of which they bought the laser as. There is only one way to measure laser power, which is with a calibrated laser power meter. The human eye is simply unable to differentiate between many different levels. Some laser suppliers show customers it burning skin or other objects to establish laser power - a dangerous and very unreliable way of doing things! In addition to these features, it is important that your supplier is able to give you properly detailed operated instructions and safety procedures required for your product. Any reputable laser supplier will be able to provide you with a test certificate or proof of the laser output power of the purchased system. Make sure you ask to see the laser actually being measured in your presence with a calibrated laser power meter (it is quite common for many laser unit with 30mW stickers on them to only output on average only 6mW) If your supplier has not got a laser power meter or is unwilling to show you the measured power it probably means that they either do not want you to see the actual output power or that they do not even know how to do this simple measurement.