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As you set-up and use your home office, keep safety in mind. In addition to the ergonomic and electrical issues discussed in the previous section, there are a few other safety tips you should know. The toolkit includes a Home Office Checklist. Alternately, your employer may have a checklist of their own that you should use. Many employers also have a separate Safety Checklist for you to follow, and may inspect the home office or require that you sign a statement that safety guidelines have been followed.

Portable Heaters: If you use a portable heater, make sure you follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Do not use the heater next to anything flammable. Buy a heater that shuts off automatically if it tips over. Heaters draw a lot of power and can over-heat an electrical circuit, throwing a breaker if that circuit is already heavily used.

Power Cords: Do not run power cords, telephone cords, computer cables or similar cords under carpets or where they may cause someone to trip.

Tripping Hazards: Eliminate any potential tripping hazards, like loose or torn throw-rugs or loose power cords. You may be used to them, but a visitor may not be.

Unsecure Furniture: If standing shelving isn't absolutely stable, use brackets to secure it to the wall. Do not place heavy objects on top of high furniture where it can fall on someone's head. Think "Earthquake".

Fire Extinguisher: Buy a household-size fire extinguisher to keep in the office. Read the instructions ahead of time to so you will know how to use it, should the need arise.

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Home Office Checklist


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This page was last updated on June 5, 2009