Fire is a major workplace hazard and its most common cause is faulty electrical wiring. A few simple inspections can make a difference in preventing such hazards. With the help of a reliable electrical testing contractor, you should be able to detect any electrical-related issue.
Even without relevant training, you can easily spot some of the signs of faulty electrical wiring. These signs include:
Charred outlets and switches
This can indicate a potentially dangerous situation although the problem isn’t always in the outlet or switch. The usual cause is faulty wiring in the circuit near the outlet or switch. There could also be a loose connection in the switch, which causes a short circuit. This creates a quick mini-fire that causes the outlet’s surface to be charred.
Breakers and fuses go out on a regular basis
Circuit breakers protect a building from fire by tripping when the circuit begins to overload. Fuses have a similar function. The only difference is that breakers are reusable while fuses are disposable once they blow out. Circuit breakers, however, can wear out over time.
A circuit breaker or fuse would act up if a number of high amp electrical appliances are plugged into a single circuit. A tripped breaker may also be a sign of a short circuit. Short circuits let electricity pass unconstrained through the circuit, which overheats the wires. This could potentially start fires.
If you smell something similar to that of burning plastic but can’t tell where it’s coming from, faulty wiring is the likely culprit. Turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse immediately until a professional electrician examines the problem.
For employers, the simplest way to detect faulty wiring and avoid fire is by having an experienced electrical tester inspect the building. Employees should also be cautious. For example, if they see worn insulation or damaged wires, they should report it right away. Both parties should remember that safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility.