How to Avoid a Power Surge While Working From Home
While some of us may be starting to transition back to working in the office, there are many of us who will continue to work remotely. With more people working from home, sometimes multiple people under one roof, it can cause household electricity loads to increase drastically.
While this does not necessarily increase the potential of a surge event occurring, the increased number of technology devices to support multiple household members working from home will increase the size of a loss from a surge.
Some other home appliances that can affect a possible surge are:
- Microwaves, ovens, and stoves that are now getting more use throughout the whole day instead of just one or two meals.
- Refrigerators that are opened and closed substantially more, requiring the compressors to work harder to maintain temperature.
Increased use of these appliances also diminishes their service life and increases the potential for breakdowns. When breakdowns occur, what used to be a quick trip to the store has now changed into a lengthy replacement or repair due to pandemic supply chain disruptions. For example, replacing or repairing a major appliance like a refrigerator can now take months.
Here are some helpful tips from us and our reinsurance partner, Mutual Boiler Re, we recommend you keep in mind when setting up your ideal workspace to minimize the potential for a surge or loss of power (which could lead to loss of documents or files) when working remotely.
Need to use power strips?
Use only heavy gauge power strips of the shortest length that are ULC or CSA approved, as these have been tested for safety and protection of your devices.
If your workstation includes multiple devices needing electricity – printer, laptop, lamps, etc. – try not to overload one power strip. If you do need to use separate power strips, make sure that only one power strip is plugged into a single duplex electrical outlet.
Reminder: Never plug one power strip into another or connect them with extension cords to create a chain.
You can read our full Surge Protector and Power Bar Safety Tips for more information.
Need to use extension cords?
Periodically check all extension and device power cords to ensure they are in good condition, not frayed or cracked. If cords are hot to the touch, stop using them until they can be surveyed by a qualified electrician.
Reminder: Never run extension cords under carpets or across high traffic areas, such as doorways and hallways.
You can read our full Home Electrical Safety Tips for more information.
Need to charge devices?
When charging phones, tablets, and other devices, use the manufacturer supplied charger, do not use off brand chargers. Place the device being charged on a hard, non-combustible surface that allows for air flow to avoid heat build-up.
The potential for fire is heightened when the device being charged is set on a soft surface, such as a bed or a pillow, that doesn’t allow for sufficient air flow. The heat generated by the charging battery is sufficient to ignite surrounding combustible materials.
Make sure your work area works for you!
If you can, rearrange work areas to move electrical devices closer to wall outlets. It keeps your work area clean and limits the use of extensions cords, which can be a hazard. Make sure that any cords in the area are untangled and uncoiled when in use.
It’s good practice to equip all technology devices with a point of use surge protection device. For optimum protection, consider installing a whole house (levels 1 and 2) surge protection system.
Want to be even more prepared for potential losses caused by equipment breakdown? Red River Mutual has coverage to help. Home Equipment Breakdown Coverage is simple and straightforward, with no hidden exclusions or confusing fine print. While other home warranties are often expensive, hard to manage, and usually only cover limited pieces of equipment, our Home Equipment Breakdown Coverage can include all real and personal property.
Find your local Red River Mutual broker today using our Locate a Broker tool to learn more.