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Fire safety tips to follow while home working

Published
22.12.2020

People in Gloucestershire are being urged to follow safety advice to prevent fires while working from home.

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Many workers have adapted to different home and office arrangements during the pandemic, but the importance of keeping yourself, your family and your home safe from fire has not changed.

Desks, chairs and laptops have been taken home from workplaces and some people may have bought extra furniture or equipment to enable them to work at home more comfortably.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) and Gloucestershire County Council’s trading standards service are reminding people to take extra care with any office chairs that you are using at home and to make sure that any electrical equipment you use is safe.

Regulations are in place to ensure that domestic furniture is fire resistant and has a label attached to show that it meets these conditions.

The regulations are slightly different for a workplace, as the requirement is to reduce the risk of fire to the lowest practical level and to control the spread of a fire, so an office chair may not be as fire resistant as one designed for use in the home.

If you are an employer considering providing chairs for working at home you must ensure that they meet the Furniture and Furnishing (Fire Safety) Regulations.

If you are using an office chair at home without a fixed label there is no need to rush out to buy a new chair, but it is important to take some simple steps to keep yourself and your home safe from fire:

  • Keep the chair away from naked flames such as candles, matches or cigarettes
  • Avoid smoking in or around your office chair
  • Keep the area around your desk clear
  • Make sure your cables are not frayed or damaged and turn laptops and monitors off when not in use
  • Have a working smoke alarm on each level of your home and test it weekly
  • At night, have a good routine to turn off lights and electrical items, close doors to prevent the spread of fire and have an escape plan in the event of fire breaking out

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member with responsibility for the fire and rescue service and trading standards, said: “With so many people now working from home it’s important to follow this safety advice to prevent any risk of fires. By taking these precautions you will help to keep yourself and your family safe and avoid placing any extra pressure on our emergency services.”

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