To some, a workplace may feel like a second home. It’s a place where employees form bonds and battle hardships together.
Whether you’re a company CEO, a higher-up, or the owner of a commercial building, keeping your establishment a safe place for everyone will increase their productivity and give you peace of mind as well.
In this article, I’ve encapsulated five electrical safety tips for commercial buildings.
1. Keep an eye on damaged outlets.
Wall outlets, otherwise known as receptacles, are also susceptible to normal wear and tear, especially if a commercial space utilizes several electrical appliances to operate. Your receptacles have neutral, hot, and ground connections.
When these wear out, the metal contact points lose their grip onto the cords. As a result, this causes the wall outlets to build up heat. If this is left unmonitored, this may lead to blowups and fires. Here are some signs that you need to replace your wall outlets:
• Cracked wall outlets
• Discolored outlets
• Plugs falling out
• Flickering lights
• Sparks or buzzing sound
• Burning smell
2. Replace frayed cords from commercial appliances.
Worn or frayed cords are also fire-starters. When a cable is frayed, the protective layer exposes the stripped wires which hold the electrical current.
These wires may run hot and can cause extreme heating. When the coils heat up, it can ignite other highly combustible materials like curtains, rugs, carpets, paper, or even floors. Check your cords from time to time and replace them if necessary.
3. Avoid extension cords as much as possible.
Extension cords can be the go-to for most establishments. However, using extension cords quite often may lead to fires or electric shocks. An extension cord may not be able to handle excess current, especially if it’s fully loaded.
Extension cords plugged to another extension cords are also a no-no. If possible, call your electrician to install as many wall outlets than using a few extension cords.
4. Install designated circuit breakers.
Commercial appliances vary in watt usage. The types of appliances will depend on the kind of establishment. However, the most commonly-used commercial appliance is a floor-mounted air conditioner. Floor standing air conditioners usually consume about 6,000 watts. On the other hand, desktops consume around 250 watts, and an average CFL bulb consumes about 15 watts.
Since these appliances and fixtures have varying electricity consumption, they run on different amp levels in circuits. These circuits are connected to a circuit breaker box. The circuit may not be able to handle too much current from all of the appliances at the same time.
The extra current causes the insulation to melt and start a fire. However, the circuit breaker stops the flow of excess current by “tripping,” which in turn, prevents further accidents. That said, it’s essential to install designated circuit breakers to handle different groups of appliances and fixtures.
5. Turn off appliances and unplug cords when not in use.
To prevent an overcurrent that can run overnight, turn off appliances and fixtures which aren’t in use. Better yet, unplug cords from office equipment or commercial appliances if the space is empty. It may seem like a tedious task but adhering to electrical safety tips for your commercial buildings and office spaces will ensure everyone’s safety.
Leanne Brooks is an outdoor enthusiast, travel blogger and coffee lover. When not hiking, she can be found spending time with her family. She is currently working with RytecElectric, the best electrician in Columbia SC, which offers a wide range of residential installation and electrical repair services, as well as 24-hour emergency services and FREE Electrical Estimates.