Securing Your Home Office – a short commuteMay 18th, 2015 by Dave Sinclair
One of the advantages of the technological age we live in is it affords us the opportunity to work from home. Whether running a business of your own or telecommuting for a company, many people have fully equipped offices in their homes. Offices that most likely contain the latest in conveniences to allow us to do our jobs – i.e. computers, printers, faxes, and scanners to name a few. As with most of the contents of your home these items are valuable and could lead to some very costly hassles if you fall victim to a burglary.
Protecting our homes should always be a priority but if you also have a home office it’s important to be aware of business related safety measures as well.
Always keep in mind standard security tips whether you work from home or not. Solid wood or metal doors with operational deadbolts should be used for all exterior doors. If you have deadbolts installed on exterior doors don’t forget to use them! When hanging window treatments give some thought as to whether you can use curtains or blinds to help obstruct the view of valuables. Don’t invite crime by advertising the contents of your home! Proper landscaping care should also be a priority. Keeping your bushes and trees trimmed and installing motion activated lighting in your yard will help make your home unattractive to criminals. Remember a burglar is always looking for the easiest target. You may also want to consider an alarm system complete with motion detectors and an alarm monitoring service.
If you are enjoying the benefit of working from a home office there are some other tips you should keep in mind. Consider a comprehensive review of your insurance policy. If you are running a home based business or telecommuting from home your homeowner’s policy may require an additional rider to specifically cover your business equipment. Use an identification number system for your inventory and valuable equipment. Keep a well documented list along with photos, if possible, in a secure location such as a safe or safe deposit box at your bank. You should also develop a habit of backing up your computer and keeping those back up records in a secure location away from your home. In the event of a fire or burglary, you will be glad you took the time to protect this valuable asset. Another safety measure you might want to look at is a wide-angled mirror mounted in the door of your home office. This feature is especially useful if your home office is detached from your residence and/or has an entry door that is accessed directly from outside.
Don’t forget to keep your personal safety in mind as well. Keep a cellular phone handy in case of a power outage or foul play with your phone lines. Be sure to keep someone informed of your schedule – i.e. appointment times, locations, individuals you are meeting. Meeting first time clients at a public location is always a good idea. It is important you are able to verify the client is legitimate and not just interested in gaining access to your home. Be careful with deliveries as well. Be sure you identify the person at your door before you open it. In most cases, it is not necessary to allow a delivery person to enter your home.
If you’re working from home make sure keeping your home office safe is just another part of your job description. Make good use of the time you save commuting to an off-site job to make home office safety a priority.