There are several major sources of fires out there, and during the cooler parts of the year, one of the top culprits here is electricity. From an increase in several electrical use areas to holiday lights and other elements, the fall and winter seasons come with a higher number of electrical fires than other times of the year.
At Orange Electric, our commercial electrical contractors are here to ensure an electrical fire is never a risk in your business space. There are a few important themes to keep in mind here, from strong electrical repairs and services to a few simple safety approaches you can promote within the workplace. Here are some vital areas to keep an eye on when it comes to preventing electrical fires in the office.
Heating Equipment Risks
The biggest risks present for electrical fires: The electrical equipment in the building itself. If this equipment is not properly maintained or is allowed to wear down, it can expose the structure to significant fire risks. A couple themes to keep in mind here:
- Regular service: Ensure your building receives routine electrical and HVAC service. Many fires begin in an HVAC system, often in an area filled with debris or buildup that would have been removed during a standard tune-up appointment. Such appointments come with a small cost, but this pales in comparison to the potential cost of a fire.
- Space heater: If you or any employees in the workplace use space heaters regularly, it’s vital to ensure they’re used properly. They should be kept well away from any flammable surfaces or materials, and should always be powered by the proper outlet support. If possible, we highly recommend a dedicated circuit for the space heater. Finally, never leave the space heater running for an extended period if no one is in the room.
Many businesses have generators present as a backup in case power goes out during the winter. This is a good idea when it comes to taking precautions, but it’s vital to use the generator properly to avoid fire risks. This means keeping them maintained and replacing old fuel, which can spark a flame if it’s been sitting idle for six months or more.
If your office has a kitchen for employees, make sure it’s safely equipped as well. One important consideration here is circuits: You should use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) wherever possible, as these will shut off power in the event of a ground-fault. If possible, large appliances like ranges, ovens and fridges should be on dedicated circuits to avoid overloads that might cause fires. Finally, ensure everyone who uses the kitchen knows to turn off all appliances when leaving the room.
For more on how to stay safe from electrical fires in your office, or to learn about any of our electrical contractor services, speak to the staff at Orange Electric today.