Is it safe to use a VCR today?

Is it safe to use a VCR today?

VCRs were extremely common in the 90s and 2000s, but 25 years later, are they still safe to use in your home?

Whether you are trying to relive some your cherished memories or are embarking on a digitization project, you may find yourself needing to use a VCR. Before you do, you need to make sure you use it properly given that is a 25-30 year old piece of equipment.

Is it safe to use a VCR today?

The short answer is yes, but only if proper precautions are taken.

VCRs do have a risk of malfunction and some malfunctions can lead to an electrical fire. It is not uncommon for a part of a VCR to "burn out", and you will soon start to smell smoke. So how you can you prevent an old VCR from starting on fire and use it safely?

How to use a VCR safely

By following these precautions, you can use a VCR safely in your home.

  1. Clean the VCR thoroughly.
    Be sure to clean the video heads and remove any dust or debris on the inside of the VCR, which is the often the culprit of a fire starting.
  2. Never leave a plugged in VCR unattended
    VCRs and their electrical components are just too old to be left plugged in unattended. When a VCR is not being used, UNPLUG it from the power source.
  3. Have a small fire extinguisher available in case an electrical fire starts.
    An electrical fire is unlikely if you keep a VCR clean and clear from internal dust and debris. However, it is common for the electronics inside a VCR to malfunction and burn out. We have VCRs at our facility burn out all the time, but we keep our VCRs meticulously clean to avoid any possibility of a fire. However, it is still good policy to keep a fire extinguisher nearby that can handle an electrical fire.

In conclusion, VCRs can be safely used today so long as the proper precautions are taken.

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