I'm soon to be buying a house in the UK and would like to setup an electronics lab in the garage (attached to the house).The type of equipment I'll be using is nothing out of the ordinary:

  • Oscilloscope
  • Soldering Iron (up to 400C)
  • Triple output 10A 30V power supply
  • Signal generators
  • PC Equipment

The types of projects I want undertake will range from low voltage embedded systems designs to high power tube amp designs. All projects will be for my own use - nothing commercial

What safety devices are essential for a home lab?


You should read your insurance policy exclusions very carefully (even better, get a lawyer friend to interpret- they're good at finding worst-case interpretations). If you end up with a £100K lab it may not be covered. If you're planning on using cheap unapproved products that could cause a fire that may also be a concern, especially if they are mains powered or store enough energy to be a fire or other kind of hazard.

As far as safety goes, isolation transformers to reduce shock hazard on mains-powered devices and auto-shutoff of the soldering iron are good. As extra protection, I power mine from a switched outlet so it definitely goes off when the lights are out. Also a proper solvent cabinet for storage of flammables such as solvents (eg. flux remover). If you have metal working equipment that throws sparks (grinders, welder, etc.) there are additional concerns, as with storage and handling of compressed gas bottles.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Like the isolation and auto-shutoff... plus 1.. \$\endgroup\$ – Solar Mike Feb 8 '19 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the reply on this. So there isn't a specific electronics insurance policy i need, I just need to carefully inspect the buildings policy i do have. And the auto-shutoff is a great idea I will look for one with a 20 to 30 minute shutoff as I think that should be adequate for soldering. I've just looked into Isolation transformers which was something I overlooked! definitely an essential for anyone else reading this post also see: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/17496/… \$\endgroup\$ – LazyMoggy Feb 11 '19 at 8:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ In this country you can get addition coverage for something like hobby photography equipment thorough “riders” on a home insurance policy. You can talk to your agent. \$\endgroup\$ – Spehro Pefhany Feb 11 '19 at 11:41

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