Tips: Home Office Safety
Increasingly, businesses are allowing their employees to telecommute and entrepreneurs are running businesses from their homes. Offices are standard in many homes today and are equipped with the latest in computers, scanners, printers, faxes, and other expensive equipment.
Remember, it is important to secure yourself and your equipment when you’re working from home. The National Crime Prevention Council offers home office safety tips.
- Install solid doors and good deadbolt locks on all exterior doors -- and use them.
- Hang window treatments that obstruct the view into your office. You don’t want to advertise what equipment you have.
- Consider installing motion-sensored lighting that will come on if someone is walking around your yard.
- Keep bushes and trees trimmed so that you can see into your yard and neighbors can see your house.
- Install a wide-angle viewer in the door of your home office if it is detached from the main house.
- Look into an alarm system. A basic system can be purchased for less than $100, plus a monthly monitoring fee.
- Keep a cellular phone handy.
- When meeting a client for the first time, arrange to meet in a public place, such as a coffee shop or the library—not your home.
- Let someone know when and with whom you have appointments.
- Review your insurance policy -- almost all policies require an extra rider to cover a home office. In the event something does happen, you want to be covered.
- Mark your equipment with identification numbers and keep an updated inventory list (with photos, if possible) in a home safe or a bank safe deposit box. It’s a good idea to keep back-ups of your work in a secure, separate location as well.
- Use the same caution with deliveries as businesses do. Anyone making a delivery to your home office should be properly identified before you open the door. Do not let the person enter your home.