We work with and around electricity every day. It’s a critical and essential part of our lives. Whether you work in an office cubicle, a construction zone, a commercial kitchen, or any space with an outlet, you are at risk of an electrical injury and sometimes even death.
Electrical hazards are everywhere! They are often so common that we often don’t even notice them. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself and those around you against these hazards is to know how to spot them. Once they are identified, they can easily be repaired or replaced. Below is a list of some of the most common electrical hazards.
- Damaged Wires and Cords: Any cord with the outer sheathing torn or wire exposed should be thrown away. Cords that are corroded, frayed, or melted should also be tossed. If you handle this type of cord, you risk getting shocked or burned. These cords can also cause an electrical fire in your office or commercial space. It’s not a good idea to “fix” the cord by taping the tears. Your best option is to contact Main Stream Electric. We can check out the wiring and fix any cords that could potentially cause fires or electrocution.
- Damaged extension cords: Extension cords are handy, especially in an office environment. Unfortunately, they often are used as a permanent resolution instead of a temporary fix. Extension cords shouldn’t be run through ceilings or walls because they tend to overheat. In fact, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) recently reported that each year 3,300 residential fires are caused by improper use of extension cords. Installing a new outlet closer to the appliance, computer, or electrical device is a safer and more permanent solution.
- Water: While most people know it’s not safe to mix water and electricity, it happens all the time. You can get hurt by simply plugging in your phone while your hands are wet. Anything that requires a power source should stay as far from water as possible. A small amount of water can cause a lot of damage.
- Broken smoke alarms: Most office buildings have plenty of smoke alarms. Unfortunately, they often go unchecked. If a smoke alarm is broken, it won’t alert you of a fire. Make sure the smoke alarms in your commercial building or office are checked regularly. They’re easy to test and can save lives.
It’s important to keep an eye out for electrical hazards and report them to a manager or supervisor immediately. Here are a few simple ways employees can help prevent electrical accidents.
- Know where the power source is located and how to shut off power in an emergency.
- When pulling out a plug, pull from the plug itself, not the cord.
- Use ceiling and floor plugs as often as possible.
- Never touch the prongs of a plug while inserting it into an outlet.
- Never plug in a cord if it is damaged, wet, or if you are touching a wet surface.
- If you notice an extension cord is warm while in use, it is being overloaded. Switch to a thicker extension cord.
If you have damaged wires, electrical shortages, or any other complex electrical concerns, contact Main Stream Electric. Our experienced and knowledgeable electricians will fix your electrical issues and ensure your workplace is safe from all types of electrical hazards.