Electricity is a necessity today, whether it is to have lights on your street, the ability to boil water or for your computer screen to turn on every day you get to work; electricity plays an important role. So it is incredibly important that when you are at work or at home, you can identify electrical risks and hazards. It is just as important to know what to do when you come across these electrical hazards and what your local or preferred electrician’s number is and just for reference our number is (03) 5245 7727.
So what are common electrical hazards, and what should you do?
Well for workplaces, there are four common electrical hazards that anyone within the workspace, including your customers, may be exposed to.
- Overloaded Circuits
- Damaged or Inadequate Wiring
- Exposed Electrical Parts
A circuit or circuits are the paths that distribute electricity to every part of your workplace, whether that be an office, a building site or restaurant. When overloaded, circuits become fire hazards. There are a few ways you may notice that your circuit is overloaded:
- Flickering of lights
- Odd smell in your building or discolouring on the wall plates
- Fuses or circuit breakers continue to blow out, i.e. your power goes out more than usual.
At this point, it is time to call your electrician or the best electricians in Geelong to get a health check on your circuits.
However, to prevent your circuit from overloading in the workplace, you should consider what appliances are plugged in and decide if they need to be. Knowing what your maximum available amps are and how many extension cords you are using in the workplace to distribute electricity.
Damaged or Inadequate Wiring
Damaged or inadequate wiring on appliances is pretty noticeable as it is usually frayed, loose or has reasonable damage. This is an electrical hazard because the wiring will still attempt to function unless it has been completely broken. If a wire is damaged or inadequate for its intended use, the wire will heat up and continue to carry the current. This means that not only is it a fire hazard, but people that come in contact with the wire may experience burns and shocks. A way to avoid this electrical hazard is to consider what the wire is supposed to be used for and check it regularly for tears, knots and fraying. If you have a damaged wire, stop use immediately and if possible, remove it. If removing the wiring is not possible, call a qualified electrician before turning appliances back on.
In addition to damaged or inadequate wiring, your workplace may experience damaged insulation. Unlike inadequate wiring, damaged insulation contains live wires and immediately becomes a serious fire hazard. Damaged insulation is often the cause of most workplace fires. However, it is crucial that you do not attempt to fix damaged insulation yourself and you call your preferred electrician as soon as possible.
If a fire has occurred due to damaged insulation or wiring, use the correct fire safety equipment or call the fire department. To prevent damages occurring to the wiring or insulation of your electrical systems, have them checked by your electrician on a regular basis (at least once a year).
Water is known to be an electrical conductor and a serious hazard to electrical systems. In the workplace, you should take care with liquids that are present around electrical appliances and units, but if you do happen to spill water on an appliance, outlets or wires turn it off immediately. Once you have turned off the device, unplug and dry it out, and leave it unplugged for at least 24 hours if a faulty continues have your preferred electrician look over it for internal damages that may still be an electrical risk.
Exposed Electrical Parts
Exposed electrical parts are risks that should be avoided in all workplaces. However, as electricians, we understand that those accidents happen sometimes. But we always strongly recommend that protective measures are in place if there are exposed electrical parts.
Exposed electrical parts can include:
- Open Panels, including switchboards and control boxes.
- Broken outlets and switches
- Electrical equipment lying around
These electrical hazards may cause burns or electrical shocks that could be fatal. As these electrical hazards are noticeable by anyone it is important that when noticed you remedy the situation and that includes turning off appliances, not using outlets, closing panels, putting electrical equipment away when not in use and report issues to an appropriate contact.
Electrical hazards are avoidable if you continue to follow safe workplace measures and regularly check your electricity use and performance with a qualified electrician. If you are concerned about your Geelong or Surf Coast business’s electrical systems, give us a call on (03) 5245 7727 to discuss how we can help you.