Safety should always be a priority when it comes to commercial businesses and manufacturing facilities, both for your employees and the building itself. If you’re trying to find the best ways to make everything just a bit safer when it comes to your electrical, check out our guide on 5 things you can improve to ensure your business is as safe as possible below!
Upgrade Your Wiring
One important thing to remember about any electrical wiring is that it’s not going to last forever. Sure, modern wiring does have a decently long lifespan if properly maintained, but older wiring like knob & tube (aka K&T) is prone to break down over time due to the use of less resilient materials.
Outdated wiring can lead to a plethora of issues, including:
- Tripping breakers
- Arcing electricity
- Crackling or buzzing sounds
- Melting wiring
- Electrical fires
So, if you suspect your wiring is original to your much older building or is damaged, one of the first things to prioritize when it comes to safety improvements is wiring upgrades.
Installing Dedicated Circuits
As the name suggests, dedicated circuits are used for a single machine only, meaning no other devices or appliances can draw power from it and it has its own circuit breaker in the breaker box.
If you have multiple, larger pieces of electrical equipment or devices on a single circuit, you’re at an increased risk for overloading the circuit and tripping the breaker. In addition to annoying outages and halts in production, there is also a chance that your breaker, especially if it’s outdated, can fail to trip, leading to overheat in the wiring that can cause melting and electrical fire.
Installing dedicated circuits for your larger machinery can dramatically decrease the risk of such instances.
Installing New Electrical Panels
Your breaker box has an incredibly important role to play in the safety of your establishment. Breaker boxes or electrical panels are where all your circuits are located. When an electrical circuit overloads, the breakers present are designed to automatically shut down the power as a means to protect the electrical system from damage or overheat.
If an electrical panel becomes outdated or is somehow damaged, it may not function properly, which could lead to breakers getting stuck and prevent them from tripping when an overcurrent occurs. In addition to damaging the panel itself, this can lead to disastrous results for your business. That’s why we recommend replacing your old electrical panels when possible. On a side note, it’s also important to remember that some older brands of panel boxes, like Zinsco panels, are at greater risk of failure because of faults in their design. See our other post on The Dangers of Federal Pacific and Zinsco Electrical Panels for more on these hazardous panels.
Replace Old Surge Protectors
Surge protectors aren’t meant to last forever, especially if they’re frequently exposed to surges. Surge protectors are designed to prevent dangerous surges from damaging your devices by diverting that high voltage surge to a metal oxide varistor (MOV).
While surge protectors are a wonderful way to protect your equipment and business, they do suffer degradation if they experience surges often. Keep tabs on your surge protectors and inspect for signs of damage or wear that could make them less effective. Another good rule to follow is to just change out all your surge protectors every 2-4 years depending on their condition.
Upgrade Your Lighting
Using more energy efficient lighting in your business doesn’t just reduce the utility bills you pay every month – it may also reduce your risk of fire!
Because energy efficient lights, like LEDs, consume less power, they’re less likely to overheat and cause damage. Additionally, better lighting for the business is a great way to reduce the risk of someone getting hurt because they had less visibility in the workplace than was needed to properly conduct their daily tasks.
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