Fire hazards in your working environment can be bad for business. A fire in your office could cause disruption not only to yourself, employees, customers and business, but it could have a devastating impact if someone got hurt.
Do you know the last time the wiring in your office was inspected? Whether you own the building that your office is in, or rent it from someone else, we all have a responsibility to keep vigilant around numerous risks of safety in the office. An office environment can pose various risks and your office wiring is certainly one of them.
The following are signs you and your staff should be keeping an eye out for. If you spot any of them in your office, you will need to arrange an electrical safety inspection as soon as possible.
Signs Your Office Wiring is a Fire Hazard
Old Wiring – Is your office building more than 30 years old? If it is and hasn’t been rewired, it should be looked at. The average lifespan of electrical wiring is 30-40 years, as it deteriorates over time. If it still has its original wiring (rubber, fabric or lead-insulated cabling), it needs updating to meet modern standards, which will include replacing the fuse box. Today’s modern wiring is PVCu coated, grey or white in colour, and twin-earthed.
System Trips Frequently – Wiring that is old or faulty will cause the electrics to trip frequently. You may also find fuses are regularly blown. This can cause a potential fire hazard or even risk of electric shock. If you find you are regularly blowing the same fuse, check if the circuit is overloaded. This is a common cause in offices where there are often not enough plug sockets for all the electrical equipment required.
Hot Plugs or Sockets – If you find a plug or socket is hot to touch discontinue use immediately. The same applies if you find it’s slightly melted, you can see smoke coming from it, or it’s scorched. Be careful when overloading sockets because this can be a cause of this. If you experience any of these, turn off, unplug the sockets and seek professional guidance from a qualified electrician.
Flickering Lights – Do your office lights frequently flicker? Flickering or dimming lights, although sometimes can be an issue with the bulb or light itself, most often it’s the wiring or electrical system. Seek professional guidance to find and rectify the cause.
Buzzing Noise – If you notice a buzzing noise from your light switches or any electrical outlet, it is likely the cause of faulty wiring. Switch the appliance off, unplug it from the mains and contact an electrician as soon as possible.
Rodents – This may sound a little odd, but depending where your office is located, rodents can cause havoc with your electrics. If they get in to the loft space or walls, they will chew through anything, which includes the insulation of electrical wires. This can lead to numerous fire hazards. If you can hear the sneaky rodents scurrying across the ceiling or along the walls, contact your local pest control company. It’s not worth the risk.
If you have any queries regarding your electrics in your office, please get in touch.