Electrical Safety Tips for Commercial Buildings

Electrical Safety Tips for Commercial Buildings

Man in Yellow Hat and Yellow Gloves Repairing a Fuse Box Attached to a Wall

Commercial buildings are essential for businesses to thrive and grow. With the increasing reliance on electricity, it is crucial to ensure that these buildings are safe from electrical hazards.

If you are looking for a Commercial Electrician in the North Bay then reach out to the experts at CORE Electrical Services. Our commercial and industrial electricians have years of experience servicing and repairing different types of electrical systems.

In this article, we will share some essential tips to keep your commercial building safe from electrical accidents. By following these tips, you can protect your employees, customers, and businesses from potential harm. So let’s dive in!


Maintain Your Appliances


Many commercial buildings have offices that use electric appliances and devices, including microwaves, air conditioners, refrigerators, and computers. The higher the number of electrical devices, the higher the chance of something going wrong. Commercial building owners should develop and enforce an electrical safety policy that requires tenants to carry out electrical safety inspections at regular intervals.


What Happens During an Electrical Inspection?


The objective of an electrical inspection is to nip electrical problems in the bud and prevent potential issues. During an inspection, a commercial electrician checks all electrical devices and wiring in the rental unit to make sure they’re working properly. Faulty wiring, cords, devices, switches, and plugs are either repaired or replaced.


Keep an eye out for Damaged Outlets


Wall sockets (also referred to as receptacles) in commercial buildings take a lot of wear and tear. Receptacles have neutral, hot, and ground connections. As wall sockets age, the metal contact points can become less effective at gripping the cords, causing them to overheat. Wall sockets can also heat up due to corroded wires, faulty wiring, an overloaded circuit, a damaged plug, or moisture. If ignored, a hot wall socket can heat up further, and eventually explode, potentially starting a fire.

To prevent electrical hazards, regularly inspect and maintain old power bars in your commercial building. Using a screwdriver, tighten loose screws to ensure a firm ground connection. You know it’s time to replace your wall outlets if they’re cracked or discolored. Some other common signs of failing outlets include flickering lights, sparks or buzzing sounds, plugs falling out, and a burning smell.


Steer Clear of Extension Cords


Extension cords should be used as sparingly as possible. Damaged or overloaded extension cords can overheat and start a fire on your property.


Extension Cord Safety


Before buying extension cords, understand extension cord designations. S extension cords are designed for general use, W extension cords are rated for outdoor use, T extension cords are made from Vinyl thermoplastic, and O extension cords are oil-resistant. Always look for cords tested and certified by a reputable, independent testing laboratory.


Choosing the Right Extension Cords


Before buying cords, make sure they can safely manage the amperage and wattage of the devices the extension cords will be used with. The gauge of a cord indicates its size: a lower number means a thicker wire, allowing the cord to safely handle more electrical current. For bigger appliances, it’s best to use robust, round, low-gauge extension cords. For less demanding devices and electronics, thinner or flat cords are suitable.

To learn more about appropriate extension cords for your needs, ask a commercial electrician in North Bay to help you select the right cords for your building.


Extension Cord Safety Tips


Before using extension cords, inspect them for signs of damage such as frayed wiring and damaged prongs. Under no circumstances should you use damaged cords. Do not remove the grounding pin from an extension cord to fit it into a two-prong outlet. Ensure your extension cord’s plug is securely plugged into the outlet. Avoid connecting several appliances to a single cord and don’t use extension cords designed for indoor use outdoors.


Install Designated Circuit Breakers


A circuit breaker box prevents the flow of excessive current, helping reduce the risk of fire. The wattage consumption of commercial appliances differs. While a heavy-duty floor-mounted commercial air conditioner can use up to 6,000 watts, small devices such as desktops consume only around 250 watts. CFL bulbs consume even less electricity (15 watts).

The appliances and fixtures in a commercial building consume electricity at different rates and run on different ampere levels in circuits connected to a circuit breaker box. When there is excess flow of electricity, the circuit breaker trips to prevent a fire. It is a good idea to install designated circuit breakers for each category of appliances and fixtures.


Place Electrical Cords Carefully


In most commercial buildings, electrical cords are extensively used to connect power sources to appliances. Studies show that several fires and electrical incidents are caused by problems with electrical cords. It is therefore important to place electrical cords in areas (such as around walls) where they will remain concealed and protected.


Switch off Appliances and Unplug Cords When not in use


To protect your devices and fixtures from overcurrent, switch them off when not in use. If you have rented out space to a business, instruct the business owner to ensure cords are unplugged from office devices when the space is unoccupied to prevent overcurrent.


Replace Worn out Cables


Even slightly frayed or worn electrical cords can pose a fire risk. When a cord is damaged, the protective insulation can reveal wires carrying an electrical charge. The heat from coils can cause exposed wires to overheat, potentially igniting nearby flammable materials such as curtains or rugs. Burning items can start a fire. To prevent accidents, replace damaged cables as soon as possible. Because electrical outlets are hot even when not in use, keep your appliances switched off when not in use.


Pay Special Attention to Lighting


Faulty lighting can result in electrocution. Lightbulbs can overheat and explode, starting a fire. Have your contractor check your lighting system at regular intervals. Before trying to replace damaged bulbs yourself, remember to switch them off.

Whether you need help installing a new commercial electrical system or maintaining an existing one, CORE Electrical Services, Inc. has got you covered. Our technicians are equipped to manage large-scale complex electrical projects. To learn more, give us a Call at (707) 687-5083.