Many of us probably don't give much thought to where or how we store appliances, computer equipment and other electronics.
However, these devices contain metal components that can easily be damaged by moisture, dust, heat, cold and temperature fluctuations. Even a few hours in the wrong conditions can render electronics unusable.
Here we provide a simple guide on how to store electronics safely.
Prepare your electronics properly
Remove batteries and ink cartridges, and detach cables and peripherals
Always remove the batteries before storing battery-operated electronics. If you leave the batteries in, they will discharge slowly over time, and once depleted may leak deposits of potassium carbonate, which can ruin the device.
Remove ink cartridges from printers, or they may leak while not in use.
Also, detach all cables and accessories from your devices before storing them. Otherwise metal-to-metal contact between the connections of the cable and device can cause the cables to seize in their sockets.
Protect against ESD
Computer parts that include chips or electronic circuitry – such as motherboards, drives, graphics and sound cards, and memory cards – are vulnerable to damage from electrostatic discharge (ESD).
To protect this type of component, place it in an anti-static bag. Ideally, use the grey or metallic anti-static bags, which offer better protection than the pink foam bags.
Wrap fragile items
For extra protection, add a layer of bubble wrap over the antistatic bag you use.
Note that you should not use plastic covers for any of your devices. These trap moisture, which can damage sensitive components.
Choose the right container for storing electronics
Once you've adding protective wrapping, store electronic components in clearly labelled, sealed plastic bins or cardboard boxes.
If you still have the original packaging for a device or component, it's ideal to use that. Then you can place the item in a larger container, along with whatever other components and cables you need to store.
Place a layer of packing peanuts or another protective material in the bottom of the box, place items upright inside the box and fill the remaining space with packing material.
Add a desiccant and seal the container
It's a good idea to add a desiccant, like a silica gel sachet, to the box. This will absorb moisture, helping keep the interior dry.
Finally, seal the box, making sure that there are no gaps for insects or dust to enter.
Store electronics in the right conditions
Aim to store electronics, including computer parts, where they'll be protected from humidity, temperature extremes and physical damage.
If there's too much moisture in the air, components may oxidise or even cause short circuits. If the air is too dry, ESD is more likely. And of course, sensitive or fragile components might not survive if they're accidentally kicked, dropped or tripped over.
Given the crime rate in South Africa, it's also wise to protect valuable electronic equipment from theft.
SpaceBox: an ideal solution for storing electronics
SpaceBox offers the ideal solution for storing electronics, computer parts and cabling.
Simply request a pick-up online. We'll drop off a sturdy, fully sealable plastic container that's the ideal size for storing everything from keyboards and cables to motherboards and spare drives. Or, if you choose, you can use your own box.
Then, for a really affordable monthly fee, we'll store the box for you in a secure facility, where it won't be damaged or stolen. When you need something back, just tell us and we'll deliver it to your door!