- In This Feature
- Safe for Work
- Prevent Furniture from Tipping Over
- Prevent Poisoning
- Prevent Choking, Suffocation, Strangulation, and Entrapment
- Prevent Electrocution, Burns, and Fires
Prevent Electrocution, Burns, and Fires
Here, too, you should protect all open electrical outlets with outlet covers. The temptation to overload electrical circuits and overuse extension cords may be greater in the office than elsewhere. For the safety of the entire household, resist the temptation. If you need to use an extension cord, be sure to use one that is rated for the amount of watts that will be consumed by the devices you are using. (Add up all the wattage used by each piece of equipment and make sure the total is less than the capacity of the extension cord.)
Consider using surge protectors that have built-in sensors to detect a short or an overload that could start a fire. Also consider an extension cord or wall adapter that provides GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection similar to what is now standard for outlets in bathrooms and kitchens. Get covers for all the power strips and surge protectors in your office. These plastic covers are like tunnels that encase the power strip. There is an opening at the top for cords of all sizes to come through, and on some cord covers, a latching door enabling you to access the on-off switch without taking off the entire cover. Once in place these covers are a challenge for even adults to open. Just keep in mind that nothing is entirely childproof.
You desire a child-friendly office, so your child will be able to play there. When he's still in a play yard that's no problem, but when he starts crawling, look out! He'll want to play under desks and tables, and you don't want to say no to everything. However, a desk or table that has electric wires under it offers no safe space for a child.
As in the kitchen, hot beverages should be kept away from the edge of a desk or table. Use a spill-resistant mug, just as you would if you carried your coffee to work on a long commute. To maximize the probability that your child stays out of harm's way in your office, designate a safe area in a corner as her play area, or use a playpen. Remember to take frequent breaks so she can leave the playpen or play area and move around under her own steam in a safe environment. These periods will aid her development and, you may discover, enhance your own productivity.
Guard against your child's spilling liquids on such equipment as your computer, monitor, or printer. To be on the safe side, turn off these devices when they are not in use, and cover monitors, keyboards, towers, and printers. This is especially important if you get caught up in multitasking—easy to do at home.
Excerpted from The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety and Healthy Living, Expanded and Revised by Debra Smiley Holtzman, reprinted with permission from Sentient Publishing, 2009.