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Electrical wiring refers to the installation of wires, cables, and other associated devices such as consumer units, distribution boards, light fittings, switches, and sockets.
It is extremely important for all kinds of properties since, with it, you can enjoy lighting, heating, and cooling to make your lives easier and more convenient, as well as to access a number of machines and appliances.
In addition to that, electrical wiring helps power alarms and security systems, both of which are essentials for keeping your property safe and secure.
When it comes to warehouses, since they are built differently and have unique needs, the wiring done in them is much different than that done in houses and other commercial properties.
Read on to find out what is involved in warehouse wiring, the typical costs per m2, and why it is so important that you have it done by a certified professional:
Warehouses are storage facilities used by all kinds of businesses such as retail, manufacturing, import and export, and transport.
They are different from other commercial spaces in the way that they are constructed, with large open spaces and high ceilings.
Each warehouse is unique in its own right and needs an electrical system for several reasons, and the basis for these electrical systems is, of course, the electrical wiring.
Although lighting is pretty much a given requirement, most warehouses also need a Wi-Fi setup to help with the operations and system management, along with multiple power sockets for using any number of electrical devices, equipment, and machinery.
Some may also have special storage requirements, especially if the warehouse is situated in a cold area or has temperature-sensitive inventory, such as frozen foods or medicines.
Although there is enough room for additions and modifications later on, especially if you have the wiring done by an experienced professional, all these needs must be accounted for when the initial planning is done and the wiring is laid out.
Issues with the wiring may lead to problems such as shorts in the system, some lights and outlets not working, power surges and, in worst-case scenarios, electrical fires. Fortunately, with proper planning and professional installation, all these issues can easily be eliminated.
Since an electrical system is one of the foundations of any building needed for it to run smoothly, the wiring should take place along with the construction.
However, since the wiring is prone to deterioration and wear and tear over time, you may have to get it rewired after a couple of years.
There are certain situations where rewiring a warehouse becomes essential. They include:
There are simple signs that you need to keep an eye, and ear and nose, out for that indicate that your existing wiring is faulty and needs an upgrade. These signs include:
For a professional point of view, it is always best to get your warehouse wiring and electrical installations checked and tested by a certified electrician.
The typical cost per square meter for warehouse wiring depends on several factors. The best way to calculate it is to add together the total costs for supplies, labour, overhead costs, as well as profit margins, and divide it by the total number of square meters that the wiring needs to be laid out on.
Many professional electricians also work at an hourly rate, which is on average about £35 to £60 per hour these days across the UK. Of course, this may vary depending on where you are located and the expertise of the electrician working on your warehouse wiring.
Some determining factors that affect the average cost of warehouse wiring are:
When properly installed, wiring and electrical systems provide years of service without an issue. However, as with everything else, they are prone to general wear and tear that take a toll on their quality, resulting in issues and, at times, safety hazards if left unchecked.
Thankfully, with best practices and technological advancements such as proper insulation and the use of circuit breakers, the real dangers have been minimised, but it does not mean they do not need to be addressed.
Electrical problems due to faulty wiring can take many forms. Overloaded circuits may cause the circuit breaker to trip excessively that may cut off power to a certain part of the warehouse, whereas frayed and damaged wires run of risk of causing an electrical fire.
All these issues can be resolved before they become a risk to life and safety through warehouse wiring testing and maintenance carried out by a competent and certified electrician.
Fixed wire testing, also known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), refers to testing all the electrical installations within a warehouse to ensure that they are safe to be used by those on the premises.
Employers, including those running a warehouse, are legally required to get their electrical installations checked to ensure that they conform to the latest wiring regulations and are compliant with workplace safety legislation.
The frequency of these tests is specified in the latest version of the wiring regulations (currently BS 7671:2018) and is determined by a few factors such as:
For most commercial businesses, an EICR is required every 5 years, which is the lowest frequency interval, or even 3 years or less for high-risk environments.
These intervals are not set in stone, though. Deterioration of the wiring and installation may indicate a need to get them tested even earlier than the recommended period.
Warehouses and other storage facilities generally fall under the industrial category and must undergo periodic electrical testing every 3 years, especially if they use heavy machinery.
If you are unsure which category your warehouse falls under and whether it is a high-risk property or not, please contact a professional electrical service provider for advice.
The wiring regulations are a national standard for electrical wiring used all over the UK. They lay out the requirement for fixed wiring installation within a building, such as a warehouse, to ensure that it adheres to safety and best practices.
Wiring regulations are designed to ensure the best and safest approach to electrical work in all areas; domestic, commercial, as well as industrial.
The first edition of the wiring regulations came out in 1882 and, since then, they have evolved over the years with subsequent editions released with developed safe procedures and technology.
British Standard BS 7671, which came into effect from 1st January 2019, is the 18th and current standard for electrical installation and wiring safety used across the country.
Electrical wiring, installation, equipment, tools, and machinery are all an integral part of a warehouse’s daily operations which, if handled incorrectly, can pose a serious safety threat to all those in the warehouse.
For instance, misuse of extension cords to run heavy appliances may cause them to overheat, possibly resulting in a fire that can cause harm to both life and property.
In such a case, injuries or damages associated with non-compliance with electrical safety may result in heavy fines and serious penalties, in addition to tarnishing your image as a responsible employer.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to have a culture of warehouse safety that ensures that all the best practices are being followed and that everyone on the floor is safe from accidents and injuries.
Since electrical safety is a huge part of warehouse safety, let’s take a look at some of the best practices to safeguard you and your employees from electrical hazards:
Electricity and water do not work well together, which is why you should always keep all electrical equipment away from any type of water source.
When equipment is not in use or when it is undergoing servicing and cleaning, shut it down completely. Keep the area surrounding electrical equipment and wires clear from water as well.
Your employees and workers are the backbone of your business and are responsible for day-to-day operations. Regardless of how careful you are with adopting best electrical safety practices, if your employees are not practising them with you, there’s barely a chance they would work.
Electrical safety training is an important aspect of electrical safety, and taking your employees and workers on board is just as important.
You must design comprehensive programs to train your employees on how to handle electrical material and equipment and their optimal operating procedures.
Train every worker, including those who don’t operate electrical equipment as well, since electrical safety is a team effort that every single person should be well versed in.
You may even take it a step further by awarding safe behaviour to help reduce and possibly even eliminate potential warehouse electrical hazards.
Have policies and standard operating procedures in place, and make sure all those on the warehouse floor are aware of and follow them.
Simple housekeeping practices such as immediately cleaning any spills, keeping clutter out of the way, and keeping emergency exits clear at all times can help reduce so many accidents and electrical risks in the warehouse.
It is also extremely important to plan for emergencies and severe weather. For instance, during a storm, make sure everyone knows to unplug all electrical equipment and machinery to prevent damages from power surges caused by lightning strikes.
A fire breaking out in a warehouse not only results in huge financial losses but also puts both human life and property at risk.
Because of the way warehouses are built and the sheer size of them, it may be difficult to detect a fire before it spreads and causes damage.
To minimise this risk and to make the warehouse a safe place for your employees to work in, you need to take the necessary safety precautions and measures to prevent fires as much as possible and be able to detect one as soon as it erupts so that it can be controlled.
Having an effective warehouse fire alarm system that will quickly detect the threat is a vital part of warehouse safety and must be implemented in all storage and distribution centres.
As mentioned earlier, you are required by law as an employer to carry out periodic preventive maintenance of the fixed wiring and electrical installations in your warehouse.
You should have a competent person inspect and test the warehouse electrics and always keep an eye for visible signs of damage and deterioration through visual inspections.
You may not realise it at first, but the expertise with which the warehouse wiring and installation are done is one of the reasons that they work problem-free for years and comply with wiring regulations.
Do not hire untrained and uncertified individuals to do the job for you. You might be able to save a little upfront cost, but trust us when we tell you that you will most likely end up spending even more on repairs and fixes in the future.
We have been providing electrical services to residential, commercial, and industrial properties for over 40 years and are specialists in all aspects of electrical wiring, installations, maintenance, and testing.
All our work is fully insured and we work to meet the standards set by the NICEIC to make sure all your electrical wiring and installations meet the current regulations and all the notifiable work is signed off by the local authorities.
If you have unplanned issues within your home or business, we can provide a call out service to rectify and solve any problems such as circuits tripping, loss of power, broken items that need repairing, or to check if you feel something is unsafe or a potential hazard.
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 will 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.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 to get in touch with our professional electricians and make your warehouse wiring safe from all kinds of electrical risks and threats.
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