If you work in an office that’s been closed since early 2020, there’s a good chance that your electrical system hasn’t been checked in over two years. There are numerous ways that electrical problems can arise in your workplace, but it’s easy to avoid them if you’re aware of what can go wrong and keep an eye on things. Here are some common office electrical risks that you should check before returning to the workplace:
Exposed wiring or components
If you’re renovating part of the office, there may be exposed wiring or electrical components that could potentially be hazardous. These components, such as lighting, open electrical panels, extension wires, power units, etc. can cause burns and shocks, or worse, electrocution.
Even if your office isn’t getting renovated or fixed up, there could still be some exposed wiring or other parts. To have it rectified as soon as possible, you must contact your local, reputable electrician. Additionally, they would be able to advise you on appropriate wire sizes based on the maximum load that the electrical circuit can support, and point out any other inefficiencies in your system.
Incorrect wire sizes
If you aren’t an electrician, you probably wouldn’t know that wires have sizes and that these sizes are important. They establish the maximum load that a wire may support before overheating or melting insulation. It’s important to use the correct size wires at all times – this helps prevent potential electric fires, overloaded circuits, and workplace injuries. If you don’t know the appropriate wire sizes, don’t worry, your local electrician will be happy to help.
There are a lot of ways to mess up your electrical equipment at work, and while keeping an eye on it will keep you safer, calling for help will always be a smart investment.
Poorly insulated wiring and cables in your electric system are another common workplace problem. The heat produced by electrical wires (as well as the room temperature) can cause the insulation to erode, creating exposed wires. This can not only cause injury but will damage equipment as well.
Loose or frayed wires
You’ve likely seen the signs of frayed or loose wires before: the tell-tale black electrical tape wrapped around a wire, or a slight bulge on a cable where it meets the wall outlet. While these may seem like minor issues, they can cause fires and shock if left unchecked. If you notice any damage to your power bars or extension cords, have them inspected by a professional electrician as soon as possible!
Overloaded outlets and circuits
Overloaded outlets and circuits are the most common causes of fires and electrical emergencies. To check for overloaded circuits, look for worn or damaged cords, loose connections, frayed wires and other signs that you could be nearing a dangerous situation.
When repairing an overloaded cord, use only approved replacement parts from the manufacturer. If you replace an outlet with one of a different amp rating than what is required by code (for example, upgrading from 15A to 20A), you may be creating new problems down the road.
You can also get ahead of overloaded circuits by placing surge protectors on all connected equipment – especially laptops and smartphones which draw high amounts of current.
Eliminate the need for extension cords and power strips by ensuring there are enough outlets throughout the office. If you do need extension cords, place surge protectors on them as well.
Taking care of your equipment, having regular inspections, and knowing when to call for help are all important aspects of workplace safety, especially when it comes to electrical systems.
We hope these tips have helped you keep your office safe! If you’re in the Reno, NV area and looking for an expert electrician, look no further than Lakeview Electric. We would be happy to service your workspace and help keep your employees safer.