How Safe Is Your Paper Shredder?

Questions have been asked and urban legends have been created regarding the safety of paper shredders. There are literally millions of paper shredders in circulation today. It is a good idea to learn how to protect your children, pets and others from being hurt. That being said, how true are the urban legends and stories about people being hurt by shredders?

Chain e-mails have been passed around, and stories have been told about children whose fingers have been cut off or dogs that have had their tongues stuck in shredders. Many of these stories, at first, seem almost impossible. Sadly, many of them are true. There are documented cases of animals and children being injured. You can find a few of them here.

There are several reasons why older shredders can injure children and pets. This because many shredders have an auto sensor that can detect paper being inserted, automatically activating the motor. These types of shredders will also think an ear, tongue or finger is a sheet of paper as well, activating the motor.

Children and animals aren’t the only ones that can be injured by a shredder. Loose hanging clothing can get caught, jewelry can accidentally be pulled in and long hair can get caught up in the blades. Thankfully, lessons have been learned and most manufacturers now build shredders with safety precautions implemented.

A few of these modern changes involve setting the blades back farther into the shredder head. This makes it far more difficult for fingers to even reach the blades. Also, the throat on many shredders has been curved, making it next to impossible for a finger to reach the blades.

On of the most successful changes made to a shredder is SafeSenseTM, developed by Fellowes. SafeSenseTM Technology automatically disables the shredder when hands touch the paper entry. Whether it’s your child’s hands or your dog’s tail, SafeSenseTM Technology instantly stops the shredder from shredding when hands are too close.

What can you do if you own an older shredder? Here are a few recommendations:

  • Upgrade to a newer shredder.
  • Unplug the shredder when it is not being used.
  • Keep shredders out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep long hair pulled back.
  • Remove jewelry prior to use.
  • Be sure loose hanging clothing, such as neckties, are not in the way.

With this in mind, do not be scared away by paper shredders. Paper shredders are a great way to destroy sensitive information, old receipts, credit card applications and more. When used correctly, paper shredders are very safe and useful.

If you are in the market for a new safer shredder, or simply need a replacement, you can find ABC Office’s entire line of paper shredders here.

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