Commercial electrical fires are a very real and prevalent risk in all commercial buildings, as every facility is full of electrical wires. Almost every room in a commercial building is full of wires- some wires are even invisible to our eyes as they hide behind the walls. Every single wire is at risk to spark and cause an electrical fire, having a devastating impact on your building in just a few minutes. In 2015, 7.8 percent of nonresidential fires were caused by an electrical malfunction, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. It is important for all building owners and occupants to know about the dangers of electrical fires and how to prevent one from happening.
Electrical Distribution System
In most commercial buildings, electricity enters through an electrical distribution system, which varies in size and complexity depending on the business’s operations. This system is typically made up of a network of circuits, wiring, fuses, and step-down transformers for lower voltage equipment. Transformers take power from the main power grid, reduce the level of power needed, and distribute it throughout the commercial electrical distribution system.
Electric overcurrents- a main cause of electric fires- occur when more amperage runs across an electric circuit or outlet than the system can’t handle. Wires and circuit breakers begin to heat up from the increased electricity, resulting in an increased risk of fire. These problems are common in commercial buildings, but they can be prevented and resolved with these few steps.
High Energy Devices
Devices with high energy demands can easily overload an outlet, especially when more than one device or piece of equipment uses the same outlet. Identify all of your high-energy equipment in the building, and make sure it has it’s own dedicated outlet.
No Extension Cords
Extension cords are a great invention, as many rooms do not have enough outlets for all of the devices needed. However, when multiple devices are plugged into the same outlet through an extension cord, the risk of overcurrent increases. Therefore, extension cords should only be used as a temporary solution. The only exception is a UL-approved power cord for computer and printer use, but those should also not be overloaded.
Is your building’s wiring old? You should always check for old or defective wires, as they are a major source of electrical fires. Also, if any wire is exposed on the exterior of the building, corrosive natural sources will rapidly deteriorate the wire even further. Any wire without sheathing should be replaced right away.
Fire Prevention and Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your rental property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and properties from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our wonderful customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.