Are you in charge of safety in your office? Check out our top 4 electrical safety checks for offices. We’ve put together this handy list of safety issues that most office managers miss. Take a look at these 4 key areas and get in touch with us for electrical risk assessment services for your workplace.
1. Portable Heaters and Fans
One of the most common hazards we find in offices is the incorrect usage of portable heaters and fans. Most people aren’t aware that extension cords and power boards come with different current ratings. This means that not every power board or extension cord is built to withstand the high levels of energy generated by portable heating and cooling equipment.
When a distribution system is connected to an appliance with a wattage that is too high, the appliance will overheat and eventually cause sparks and fire. To avoid this issue, check the recommended current ratings on the side of your power boards and extension cords as well as the wattage of your appliances. If you can’t find this information on your equipment, it is best to avoid the problem and plug your heaters and fans into the wall socket. This is the safest option and our recommendation for all portable heating and cooling devices.
Singed power outlet and power cord caused by incorrect portable heater use.
2. Extension cords and Power Boards
We carry out electrical safety checks in a range of business environments every day. In offices, there are always lots of extension cords and power boards in use. This makes sense when you consider the number of computers and appliances needed to keep an office running smoothly.
The following tips will help prevent fires caused by overheated power boards in your office:
- Don’t use double adaptors
- Pay attention to the maximum current rating
- Plug portable appliances into the wall socket instead of a power board
- Dispose of damaged power boards
- Buy power boards with overload protection
- Make sure your power board has a built-in RCD
- Clean your power boards regularly to remove dust and debris
Our number one tip for maintaining power boards and extension cords is investing in electrical testing and tagging. Regular checks for damage will help prevent electrical fires. When we check your equipment, we’ll let you know if we notice any issues with the way you’ve set up your power boards.
The following tips are essential when using extension leads in an office:
- Extension leads should only be used as a temporary power distribution solution
- Don’t connect extension leads to power boards
- Leave your extension leads exposed – covering them with carpet or rugs can cause them to overheat
- Check for damage and dirt
- Make sure your leads are out of the way so people don’t trip on them or accidentally cause damage
3. Kitchen Appliances
The electrical safety checks in your office should always extend to your kitchenette or staff area. If you have any cooking equipment, it needs to be installed properly and maintained by a professional. Make sure small appliances are plugged directly into the wall sockets and not connected to double adaptors or extension cords.
Microwaves should undergo an electrical safety test to eliminate potential radiation leakage or overheating. This will ensure your staff members can cook their food safely and your office manager won’t be liable if something goes wrong. Make sure toasters and kettles are away from the sink area to eliminate the chance of electrical shock.
4. Residual Current Devices
The best way to protect your office from electrical hazards is to make sure your RCDs are in working order. Residual current devices monitor the electrical circuits in your building and switch off the power when a fault is detected. You may find an RCD on your power boards or adaptors.
Ask one of our team members to visit your building and perform a range of electrical safety checks. We can check your RCD/s and make sure your building is protected. RCDs need to be inspected regularly, according to national legislation. If you have any questions about the frequency of testing, get in touch with us today.
Now that you’ve read our top 4 tips, why not ask one of our technicians to conduct an electrical test on your property? We can complete a full risk assessment and test & tag your equipment. Tagging electrical equipment helps the user identify when the device was last checked for safety. It also helps to keep track of testing requirements and retest dates. Contact us today for more information about our services.