If you’re a business owner, then your top priority undoubtedly is to keep your commercial premises safe from electrical fires. Electricity is one of the major causes of accidental fires in commercial and residential buildings in UK, as each year over 10,000 electrical fires which are caused by faulty wirings or appliances occur. As we use electricity every day, it’s important that it is used correctly to avoid any dangerous consequences. So, here are some simple tips you should follow in order to prevent an electrical fire.
Don’t overload power sockets
Overloading sockets is one of the most common errors that workplaces and homes make. This is when you plug too many appliances into one power outlet using extensions. It can put a big strain on the electrical source, thus causing the plugs to overheat and start a fire. Try and avoid plugging more than two appliances into one electricity outlet as anything more can be risky.
Use the correct plugs
When buying sockets, make sure they come with a British or European safety logo as buying non-standard plugs can result in problems. If you’re not too sure about the validity of your sockets and plugs, contact a local electrician who will give you all the guidance you need on choosing the right plugs.
Carry out regular electrical checks
Even if your building’s electricity is working fine, it is still important to schedule an inspection at least once every five years. A registered electrician will do a thorough inspection of the building and point out any faults that are present or likely to develop. Just make sure you hire a fully accredited electrician to carry out this task and ask for a written report that highlights any issues that are present.
Use correct wiring
In commercial properties, wiring mistakes occur more often than in residential homes due to change of production line, new owners, or new equipment getting installed. In these situations, mistakes are common and potential fires are created. Perhaps the most common wiring error is when someone upsizes a device without changing the size of the wire. For instance, replacing a 30 amp circuit breaker with a 40 amp circuit breaker can carry excessive current. It is, therefore, best not to replace the wires with lower or higher amp circuit breakers in order to avoid fires.
Some important pointers to take note of:
- Always replace the damaged or loose cords right away.
- Never run extension cords under carpets.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions for using the correct plugs.
If the switches feel warm to touch and your lights are flickering, this is an indication that the circuits are tripping. In this case, you must contact a qualified electrician immediately.
Train your employees and regular maintenance
You will also want to train your employees and make them more aware of electrical hazards. Overloading sockets is one of the most common mistakes that people make, so make sure you give all your staff members adequate training to keep everyone safe in the workplace. If you detect something strange in your electrical system, you should unplug everything and contact an electrician.
It is also worth evaluating your building’s electrical needs to see if an upgrade is required. With ongoing and routine inspections, not only will you save your commercial building, but you will also save lives.
For further information on electrical fire safety, don’t hesitate to contact our expert team here at Protect & Detect. Our specialist fire safety service includes the supply, installation and maintenance of an extensive range of fire detection systems, including:
To learn more about how your commercial property can benefit from our fire safety services, simply get in touch with our friendly team today.