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Offices are full of electrical appliances, equipment, power cords, lighting, and the works. A quick glance around your office will have you realise how dependent we are on electricity and how serious the consequences of faulty electrics can be.
These day-to-day items in the workplace have become such an integral part of our work that we sometimes completely overlook the safety hazards they bring with them, especially if improperly installed or used incorrectly.
Compared to other workplaces, offices are fairly safe but that doesn’t mean there are no risks. There is no place out there that isn’t safe from the risk of electrical hazards, not even your home.
Electrical hazards in the office give way to electrical accidents and injuries that are the result of unsafe installations and work practices.
Read on to find out the services included in office electrical installation, how much they cost, and why they are so important:
Before we discuss more on the installation services, let’s talk about the most common electrical hazards in an office. They include, but are not limited to:
Electricity generates heat which is why it is necessary to have proper ventilation to let it escape from the area. Improper installations with inadequate ventilation can be quite dangerous and may start electrical fires.
In addition to electrical fires, overheating may cause the electrical systems and equipment to get damaged and increase the risk of sparks, shocks, and burns.
Some common office equipment that tends to overheat include computers, printers, and photocopiers.
It is not uncommon to see several electrical equipment such as computers, phone chargers, lamps, and several others, connected to a single outlet, especially if multiple desks share a power strip.
This results in the outlet drawing much more current than it can safely handle, and while most of the time it will cause the circuit breaker to trip, it may also increase the risk of shocks and fires.
Extension cords are another very common sight in offices used to connect appliances to a power source if there isn’t an existing socket nearby.
Albeit convenient, they pose a serious electrical and safety hazard and must only be used for limited amounts of time and that too very carefully.
Plugging too many appliances into one extension cord can increase the risk of overheating and should be avoided at all costs. In addition to that, the long wires may cause tripping and the cord unsafely being ripped out of the socket leading to sparks and fires.
An electrical installation includes all the fixed electrical equipment on a property such as the wiring, cables, accessories (sockets, switches, and light fixtures), and the consumer unit.
To ensure a good electrical installation, you need to hire an NICEIC certified electrician who has adequate knowledge of the correct procedures and the current wiring rules and regulations.
Some important considerations include:
Electrical installation is technical work and must only be done by a qualified electrician. It can be extremely dangerous for an unauthorised and untrained individual to attempt to do so since they would be putting not just themselves but others at risk as well.
For office electrical installation services, you must contact a commercial electrician who has the required experience and certification to carry out the job.
The costs may vary depending on several factors that include the size of your office, the number of appliances and equipment to install, and the accessibility of the wiring and cables.
While some electricians charge an hourly or day rate, some services have a fixed cost. The average cost of having your office rewired is usually around £2,500.
This is for around 5 to 8 days of work required to do a complete rewire of the property. This usually does not include any plastering or remodelling work that may be done to install the new cables.
To get a better understanding of the charges based on your office in particular, give us a call and talk to our certified professionals about our updated prices.
Employers have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that the workplace is safe for their employees and workers, and electrical safety is a huge part of that.
On average, around 1000 electricity-related accidents in the workplace are reported every year, with around 30 people dying from said injuries.
Although offices are low-risk environments when compared to other workplaces such as factories, warehouses, and construction sites, they still carry a considerable amount of risk.
All employers, under the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) must make sure that all the electrics are properly installed and regularly inspected and maintained by a qualified electrician.
Electrical risk assessments should be carried out for all electrical hazards, detailing all those at risk, how the level of risk has been determined, and the precautionary and preventive measures to control them.
In addition to that, all the staff members and employees must be provided with adequate training on electrical safety.
Employers found not complying with the safety regulations carry the risk of huge fines, along with a tarnished reputation in the market for not caring enough for their employees and those in the office.
Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the electrical hazards, take action to immediately rectify them, have the electrical system installed by a professional, to begin with, and make sure they are regularly serviced and maintained.
Some common signs of faulty electrics and the need to get your office rewired or the installations fixed include:
Lights will often flicker due to a number of reasons. It might be due to faulty installations, power disruption, power surges, or simply because they are about to burn out.
If it is one light only, it probably means that a single bulb needs to be changed. However, if the issue persists will more than one light bulb, it may be a clear indication of an underlying wiring issue that needs to be addressed.
Circuit breakers are installed to identify power surges and overloading, and temporarily switching off the power supply to minimise risk to life and property.
While it is okay for them to trip once in a while, excessive tripping and outages might be a cause for concern. It is always best to call an electrician to get the circuit breaker and the rest of the installations tested to rule out any safety hazards.
When outlets are pushing out more power than they are designed for, they can overheat and start an electrical fire. This may not just burn the socket but also damage any equipment connected to it.
Another reason for this issue could be faulty wiring in the office that is causing the outlets to heat up. To avoid this issue, you must never overload any sockets with more power than they can bear, make sure all the electrical appliances are compatible with your electrical system and have a professional check out the wiring on your property.
If you ever smell weird odours in the office, especially ones that smell like burning plastic, do not ignore them under any circumstances.
These smells are warning signs that something, most likely the wiring behind the walls, is burning. If that is the case, you must immediately turn off the power supply and call a certified professional electrician to conduct an inspection and fix the issue ASAP.
Under the Electricity at Work Regulations, you have a legal responsibility to keep all your electrical installations in a safe condition for your employees, clients, and visitors.
The best way to determine whether your office electrics are safe for use is through regular inspection and maintenance. This is done by carrying out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) at regular intervals, which can range from 3 to 5 years.
According to the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC), two kinds of electrical installation checks must be carried out by a professional electrician to ensure everything is working as it should. They are:
A visual inspection is carried out to inspect any visible signs of damage or defect, after which a Visual Inspection Report (VIR) is generated. The report provides a general summary of the electrical installation’s health by recording all the observations and recommendations.
During a visual inspection, an electrician is likely to check the fuse board, sockets, lights, plugs, switches, cables and leads, earthing and bonding, visible signs of wear and tear, and burning, as well as the kitchen and bathroom safety.
A detailed inspection refers to an extremely thorough check that identifies any damages, defects, or deterioration that may have been missed in the initial checks.
It involves testing all the circuits, appliances, machinery, and installations around the office, with the main purpose of determining whether the current installations are satisfactory for continued use or not.
An EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report), which is more detailed than a visual report, is made at the end of the inspection. It is basically a detailed summary of the conditions of the electrics in the office and whether they comply with the current British Standards for electrical safety.
Once the EICR check is completed, a certificate of the electrical installation is provided, classifying the condition of the installation into three codes:
When it comes to electrical safety, it is a crucial part to train the office workers and employees regarding the best practices.
They are an integral part of the office environment and the way they use the office electrics can have a huge impact on not just their safety but also those around them.
Some common considerations to follow include:
We have been providing electrical services to residential, commercial, and industrial properties for over 40 years and are specialists in all aspects of electrical installations, maintenance, and testing.
We have experienced and fully qualified electrical engineers on hand to deliver a professional and high-quality service and are NICEIC registered following the current wiring regulations.
If you have unplanned issues within your home or business, we can provide a call out service to rectify and solve any problems. Anything from circuits tripping, loss of power, and broken items that need repairing, to checking for potential faults and safety hazards.
Our team can generate a Visual Inspection Report (VIR) to identify anything visual that does not comply with the standards or looks unsafe, as well as a full Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) where we identify and test each circuit to make sure they are not deteriorating and are safe for use within the current standards and regulations set by the BS 7671.
We can also provide PAT testing of appliances to make sure that any items such as kettles, computers, and microwaves are safe for use in the home and workplace.
We also offer other services that include:
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 to talk to our certified team of electricians right away!
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001