Electrical Fire Prevention in the Workplace, How to Spot Electrical Fire Hazards
November 7, 2019
Electrical fire prevention should be on everyone’s mind. Let’s face it commercial fire hazards are bad for business. This could be the understatement of the year. Whether you are running a retail, restaurant, or office building, an electrical fire could cost millions of dollars and loss of life. According to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) latest report, public fire departments responded to 1,318,500 fires in 2018. These fires came with an estimated $25.6 billion property damage. While this estimate contains numbers from home, commercial, and wildfires, these statistics are eye-opening. For a commercial establishment, recovering from a fire could be impossible. The loss of life and data can cripple an organization. With this in mind, training your employees to notice potential electrical fire hazards could save your organization big in the long run.
Electrical Fire Hazard Warning Signs
Frequently Tripped Breakers
Your building’s breakers are designed to shut off or trip to prevent circuits from overloading. If you are having issues with the same fuse repeatedly blowing, the circuit is likely overloaded. This could eventually lead to overheating and an electrical fire.
We have extensive experience with electrical fire prevention and emergency situations, we recommend reading our blog, Emergency Electrical Services: No Laughing Matter, Except for the Last One.
If your building is over 50 years old, it could be harboring dangerous non-metallic, aluminum, and knob and tube wiring. These types of wiring are one of the top five causes of electrical fires. If you are concerned with the wiring in your facility, we highly suggest having a certified electrician perform an inspection.
If your organization is considering replacing your old electrical wiring in an attempt to prevent commercial fire hazards, our latest electrical eBook, How to Choose the Best Electrical Service Provider, may offer some assistance.
Flickering or Dimming Lights
This one can be a bit tricky. Most people assume that flickering or dimming lights are an illumination issues and call for new lamps of fixtures. But that may not be the case. Typically, larger electronics and appliances wired into the same circuit as your lighting will cause this issue. The flickering and dimming issue is most likely being caused by an overloaded circuit. If you are having flickering and dimming issues when major appliances are turned on, you need to have your facilities electrical wiring looked at immediately.
Buzzing Outlets and Lights Switches
This one is a BIG warning. Outlets and light switches are susceptible to faulty wiring. If you notice buzzing coming from an outlet or light switch, call an electrician IMMEDIATELY.
Rodent Infestations and Damage
This one can catch people by surprise. You notice a rodent problem and either put out traps or call an exterminator. While this might get rid of your rodent problems, many people don’t consider the damage they did before being evicted. Rodents will chew through anything, that includes the isolation around your wiring. If a rodent eats through the insolation on your wiring, this could cause shock and fire hazards. If your facility has had a rodent problem, we suggest calling in an electrician for an inspection. (After the exterminator has evicted your unwanted guests.)
Hot, Smoking, Scorched, or Melting Outlets
Ok folks. Here is a big one. Your outlets should NEVER become uncomfortably hot. If you notice any of these issues with your outlets, you are probably looking at incorrect wiring. This situation calls for immediate attention. (An overloaded outlet can also cause this phenomenon)
Electrical Fire Prevention: Safeguarding Your Customers, Employees, and Business
Electrical and fire safety is everyone’s responsibility. One of the best ways to safeguard your business and those inside, is to keep everyone informed on how to notice and prevent electrical fires. We suggest making sure your employees can identify these risks and have a way for them to report any electrical fire risks. While Action Services Group provides many resources for a more in-depth look at electrical and fire safety, OSHA has free educational materials and tips available to the public. If you would like to schedule an electrical systems inspection, please call Action Services Group at 610-558-9773 or email [email protected].
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