Keeping your building safe from an electrical fire is a top priority for many professionals, taking preventative measures and making smart decisions can help. Review these electrical fire safety tips below to protect your facility from electricity-related danger and damage.
Perform Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is one of the best ways to increase the longevity and safety of your electrical supply equipment. Stay on top of all routine maintenance recommendations, watch for product updates and recalls and keep accurate records of when you purchased machinery and other products, as well as records of maintenance history.
Skip Risky DIY Projects
Considering re-wiring your auto shop on your own? In the case of electrical supply equipment, it’s a job best left to the professionals. Even minor mistakes or miscalculations can cause things to malfunction, presenting safety concerns as well as potential remedial expenses down the road. Consult with an electrician to do an electrical safety check before starting any electrical work.
Avoid Overloading Equipment or Circuits
Electrical overloads are a dangerous situation and can be caused by using too many electrical devices that exceed the circuit limit. This can cause blown fuses or even fires. Map out your space or facility and identify points where overloaded circuits could be a problem, and reconfigure to make sure things are evenly balanced.
Repair Broken Equipment before Use
If a machine or electrical supply product is making an unusual noise, missing a part or operating below its normal capacity, don’t use the equipment until it can be properly repaired. Using broken equipment can cause serious safety risks, especially when electricity is involved. Educate everyone who works in your building about the importance of reporting equipment issues!
Separate Combustibles from Electrical Equipment
It might seem like common sense, but it’s easy to forget to keep your electrical equipment at a safe distance from combustible materials. For example, avoid stacking paint cans near electrical outlets, or using a desk outlet surrounded by stacks of paper. It might not appear to be a hazard now, but one spark is all that it takes and the damage will be done.
Keep Fire Safety Equipment On-Hand
In case of a fire, having the proper electrical fire safety equipment on hand is important. Certain building and facility types will have different requirements, but make sure everything is up to code and easily accessible. Remember that not all fire extinguishers are safe to use on energized electrical equipment. To fight these fires, a non-conductive substance must be used to protect the fire fighter from potentially being electrocuted. In most cases, opting for a class C fire extinguisher is your best bet. Educate your staff on how to combat different fires, how to use emergency equipment and where it will be located should the need ever arise.
Know Your Fire Safety Plan
Are you and your employees aware of your fire safety plan? Even small buildings should have a fire safety plan in case of an electrical fire emergency. Make sure your emergency exits are clearly marked and have easy escape routes. If your facility is large with lots of people working inside at any given time, performing evacuation drills can be helpful to evaluate foot traffic.
Does your electrical fire safety checklist require new equipment? NAPCco has quality, affordable phase transformers, disconnect/safety switches, load centers, circuit breakers, motor starters and more to outfit your electrical system. Contact us today to learn more.