Safety reminders for your home office

(NC) As many of us continue to work remotely, having a functioning home office is essential. From lighting to storage to décor, there are several factors to consider, so it’s easy to overlook safety. Here are some key steps to help ensure your new workspace is safe as well as productive.

Safeguard your computer. With hackers exploiting the increase in remote working, it is critical to keep operating and anti-virus packages up to date. Perform frequent updates to help prevent malicious software from invading your computer and network. Change your passwords regularly and back up your files.

Avoid overloading outlets. Each year, electrical malfunctions account for 35,000 home fires, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. Make sure your outlets contain arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), which can prevent fires caused by damaged or overheated wiring or electrical devices. In case of an emergency, keep the easy-to-use First Alert EZ Fire Spray in your home office to quickly defuse small electrical fires. The light aerosol can design makes it easy to hold, use and store.

Set up a clutter-free space. Keep your work area organized to prevent potential hazards. Avoid injuries by keeping scissors, staplers and all sharp or heavy office tools away from edges of the desk, especially if you have children or pets. Secure all phone lines and electrical cords along a wall or under a desk to keep them away from heat sources and high-traffic areas.

Install and maintain alarms. Beyond the office, installing smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms will help protect your entire home. For optimal protection, install working smoke and CO alarms on each level of the home, inside every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. To properly maintain your alarms, test them regularly, change the batteries every six months and replace the units every 10 years.

Find more home fire safety tips at firstalert.ca.

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