Sydney’s commercial spaces need electricity in order to functionally operate.
Most offices and workplaces are considered low-risk in terms of electrical hazards, compared with other large industries. Regardless of the risk-factor, electrical emergencies can happen, that’s why hazards have to be eliminated since they can have an impact on your safety and well-being.
Interestingly, many electrical emergencies that commonly occur in commercial spaces can be avoided with the right tools, adequate knowledge, and state of mind.
To help you on your way around electrical hazards, here are five of the most common electrical emergencies in commercial spaces – and how to avoid them:
Overhead Power Line Contact
If your commercial space is situated in a rather high-altitude area and has employees working near electric posts, you need to watch out for overhead power lines. These energised electrical lines carry high voltages which can cause severe burns and lethal electrocution upon contact. Engineers and electricians particularly have very high electrical risks because of the nature of their work and frequent operation near live power lines.
To avoid unexpected emergencies concerning power lines, you must work on a minimum distance of 10 feet from the cables. You can also put safety barriers and signs near the cables to attract attention from workers and thus, minimise accidents.
Electrocution from Damaged Equipment
Did your computer just blacked-out? Is the voltage regulator light blinking? Immediately plug it off and let a qualified electrician investigate. Exposure to damaged electrical equipment can be very dangerous. The metal frame of your malfunctioning AVR can get energised and touching it can result in electrocution and can damage your equipment, frying your motherboard and hard drive. Nobody wants to lose all of their important spreadsheets and reports.
If you decide to try to repair the equipment, you have to make sure that you know how to identify the problem and have the right tools to disassemble and replace the damaged component. Furthermore, never try to fix any electrical device whilst plugged in – making sure all power sources (e.g. input wires, batteries) are disconnected and that you are wearing anti-static wristbands.
Overloading and Short Circuits
Two birds in one stone, you noticed. These two can be discussed separately, however, the nature of their causes are nearly identical and should be considered altogether to prevent both emergencies from occurring.
Many workplaces use a number of computers and electrical equipment at once, resulting in high-wattage output and high power consumption. If your workplace’s electrical system uses wires of inappropriate size and capacity for the current demand, then it can cause overheating and worse, catch a fire. Using a low-current extension cord for high-wattage computers and equipment can also melt the plastic material in the extension outlet and short the circuit – arcing and causing a fire.
If emergencies like this occur, it is essential to contact Level 2 electricians such as Gordon Powers to replace the inefficient wires with the adequate ones. Furthermore, if you suspect that your workplace electrical system utilises low-quality wires, calling Gordon Powers to preemptively investigate and replace the wiring with the higher quality is a better approach towards keeping your office equipment safe from damage.
Over time, the electrical insulations in your commercial space can experience wear and tear. Rodents, chemical, or physical weathering can deteriorate the insulation in the wires. This is already considered a hazard – but can become a severe emergency if neglected and comes in contact with conductive and flammable materials.
If you come across cables with damaged insulation, immediately report it to the utility or your authority. If you can, turn off the power source and try to cover the damaged insulation. Covering small damages with electrical tape is recommended if no replacements are available at the moment, but you should replace all damaged insulation as soon as possible.
Working on Wet Conditions
Water doesn’t go well with electricity, this is true to all workspaces and households. If you notice leaking or spilled water nearing your computer or outlets, don’t hesitate to wipe it dry and make sure the source of leaking or spilling is immediately dealt with. Water greatly increases the risk of electrocution if it comes in contact with equipment with damaged insulation.
Moreover, it is important to unplug wet equipment until completely dry before you energise or let a qualified electrician diagnose it for problems. Finally, make sure your commercial space has accessible fire extinguishers to put off immediate fires and prevent further damage to your commercial property. It takes vigilance and proactivity to prevent electrical emergencies, particularly on commercial spaces.
In your workplace, it is important that you know your limits and applies the best safety practices for electricity. Through vigilance and proactivity, you can help reduce the risk of electrical-related accidents and loss of life. In addition, you can also prevent electrical emergencies if you have enough knowledge about its nature and the right tools for prevention.
However, if you are not confident to do the job or do not want to risk working beyond your capacity, don’t hesitate to let a certified electrician diagnose and repair the causes of the problem. Gordon Powers, Sydney’s reliable and efficient electrical service and repair provider, is always ready at your disposal.
Our level 2 electricians are familiar with all sorts of electrical emergencies in the workplace setting and have the knowledge to replace damaged insulations and skillfully improve your electrical system. We also specialise in relocating main power cables as well as lighting systems and switchboards to better locations and eliminate the risks of electrical emergencies.
Gordon Powers has the tools and the skills to tend to your electrical problems and all you have to do after setting an appointment is to get back to your work without worrying about your safety. Call us at (02) 9199 7480 or send an enquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.