Keeping yourself safe when working at home
Working from home means you are spending more hours within your property than you normally would do. You may be using your heating more, creating an office ‘space’ and using electrical equipment for long periods of time. We thought we would remind you about some of the things you can do to keep you, your family, and your property safe from fire during this time.
First, make sure you fit smoke detectors on every level in your home. We also recommend that you have heat detection in your kitchen. Detectors can be bought from most large DIY chains and local hardware shops, as well as from numerous online retailers. Secondly, test them every week by pressing the test button. If you cannot reach, you could use a long stick or brush handle. Having working detectors installed in your home is the best thing you can do to protect you from fire, as they will give you an early warning if a fire occurs so that you can escape the property.
Remember if a fire does occur – GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 999.
Other things you can do to keep safe from fire are:
- Ensure all your electrical work equipment such as PCs, laptops, phones and printers are in good working order.
- If you don’t have enough plug sockets for your office equipment consider getting a certified electrician to install some extra sockets in the right location.
- Only use chargers and adaptors recommended by the manufacturer with your equipment.
- Don’t overload plug sockets – use this overloading socket tool here .
- Replace any old block adaptors with 4-way multi-gang adaptors.
- Don’t overload your 4-way multi-adaptors or daisy-chain them by joining them together.
- Watch out for signs of plugs getting hot or showing signs of scorching.
- Keep combustibles such as paper, fabric etc. away from your equipment, including the wiring and sockets.
During your working day:
- If you smoke, smoke outside your property and ensure that cigarettes are extinguished properly when done.
- Take regular breaks from looking at your screen.
- Keep drinks away from any electrical equipment.
- Avoid trailing wires which may cause a trip hazard.
- Always use your laptop on a hard surface if possible – this will allow for appropriate ventilation.
- If you have an office chair make sure it doesn’t get tangled up in any trailing wires.
- Store any papers and files safely and away from any exit routes and sources of heat.
- At meal breaks, take care not to be distracted when cooking – this might be more difficult than usual if you have children at home or your phone is always ringing.
At the end of the working day make sure:
- All your equipment is switched off at the socket and avoid leaving equipment on standby.
- If possible, close the internal door to your work space.
- Ensure all your exits are clear and unblocked.
- Do not charge your phone while you are asleep.