Over the last few years, many employers have transitioned their staff from working at physical facilities to working from home. A recent FlexJobs study surveyed 2,100 workers. The findings indicated that 65 percent of respondents prefer to work remotely.
In fact, 56 percent of those surveyed are prepared to quit their jobs if forced to return to a brick and mortar location. Even those who enjoy the daily commute and miss their workplace pals prefer some combination of working from home and working onsite to working onsite only.
Does Your Home Office Have Adequate Fire Protection?
An often overlooked consideration in home offices is fire safety. Employers have a duty of care to keep their employees safe on the job. However, many remote workers receive little or no guidance from management regarding safety measures at home.
Fortunately, there are some simple measures you can take to minimize fire risks in your workspace. Remote workers are expected to increase to 25 to 30 percent of the total workforce by the end of 2022. It’s a good reason to make your home office as safe and serene as possible.
Here’s how to reduce the risk of fire.
Basic Fire Safety Plan For A Home Office
You might want to increase fire safety by purchasing some basic hardware. However, many people right now are financially stretched to the limit.
If you’re temporarily strapped for cash, ask your employer for help. The worst possible outcome is that they’ll say no, but they might also say yes.
Invest In A Fire Extinguisher And A Fire Blanket
A fire extinguisher can put out small fires in their early stages. It should only be used by someone that’s confident and physically capable of using it. When you spray a fire with dry powder, you cut off its oxygen supply. The dry powder also helps to reduce the heat.
Fire blankets are made of fireproof material and designed to smother small pan fires involving fat. Keep one handy in the kitchen for easy access in case of emergency.
Inspect Space Heaters
Remove dust with a clean, damp cloth. Verify that the appliance is working properly. Position the unit on a level surface at least one meter away from curtains and other household furnishings.
Check Your Electrical Connections
Using direct power points instead of power boards or extension cords helps to prevent fires.
Examine Electrical Cords
Make sure that your electrical equipment does not have damaged or frayed cords. Don’t try to hold the wires together with tape. Instead, replace the cord with a new one.
Protect Children And Pets
Keep all electrical cords out of reach of small fingers, curious cats and chewing dogs.
Avoid Circuit Overloading
Overloading power outlets with double adapters can cause the power socket to overheat. A power board with surge protection is much safer.
Position power boards on their sides. It keeps dust from getting into the socket and starting a fire.
Remove portable devices from beds when fully charged
Don’t leave portable devices on beds after they have finished charging. The devices and the outlets might overheat and emit sparks that could set the bedding on fire.
Don’t leave kitchen appliances unattended
Kitchens are especially prone to fires because of all the heat-generating activities that take place there. One big advantage of working from home is that it gives you an opportunity to prepare healthy homemade meals. Even better, you have all day to get it done.
The only downside is that while some items can simmer all day on the stove top or stew for hours in the slow cooker, more complex operations require constant supervision. It’s way too easy to forget about that olive oil heating in a pan when a work crisis strikes out of nowhere.
Smoking oil can quickly become a grease fire. Never leave the kitchen until it’s safe to do so. The work emergency can wait.
Take care of your heating equipment
Fireplaces and central heating systems should be inspected and cleaned regularly. Schedule HVAC system maintenance every Autumn to ensure safe operation. Never operate a furnace or a heat pump with a clogged or dirty air filter. The unit can overheat and start a fire.
If you have a fireplace, the front of it should be fitted with a spark screen to prevent flying embers from getting into your home and starting a fire.
Space heaters should not be left unattended for long periods of time. This can easily happen during the winter when multiple space heaters are on duty in different rooms.
Don’t forget about your clothes drier. It generates a lot of heat, and if the lint screen gets clogged, the appliance can overheat and start a fire. Clean the lint screen after every use.
Maintain your smoke detectors
Although smoke detectors can drive you crazy when accidentally tripped, they can also save your life. These gadgets should be tested and inspected regularly. The newer photoelectric smoke detectors can link to other alarms in your home for increased protection.
Develop an escape plan
Everyone in your home should be in agreement about what to do in case of fire. Make an escape plan that includes pets and anyone in your household who will need assistance getting out.
A fire protection plan can give you peace of mind. That’s a precious commodity these days.
Bio: Randall Williams is the founder of Aegis Safe, a fire service company. He specializes in building and fire safety services.
Website: Aegis Safe https://www.aegissafe.com.au