Electrical fires are one of a facility manager’s worst nightmares, and they’re not as uncommon as you think. Electrical equipment and lighting equipment are the second leading cause of office building fires and cause 15% of property damage in commercial building fire incidents. This means that many of the office fire experiences in commercial facilities are fully preventable by the facility staff, if only they know what to look for.
Top Causes of Electrical Fires
Electrical fires can be caused by a variety of electrical issues, including overuse, lack of maintenance, and age. Below are the top four causes of electrical fires in both homes and commercial properties in the U.S.
Faulty Electrical Outlets
Electrical outlets that are damaged or out of date are one of the leading causes of electrical fires. They can cause great danger because most people are not able to identify when an outlet is no longer suitable for use. You should have your electrician inspect all outlets during their preventative maintenance visits to avoid this fire hazard.
If a circuit is overused or overpowered, it can cause an electrical fire without anyone realizing it. While this problem is serious, it is also easy to prevent. If your electrician believes you may be risking a circuit overload due to the demand at your facility, have them install additional circuits or outlets to compensate.
Outdated Electrical Wiring
Electrical wiring can fry and cause electrical fires if it is outdated or damaged. This can happen due to aging, or to damage from pests or building stress. If your electrician notices signs of electrical wiring age or damage, they should replace it immediately.
Even your light bulbs can cause electrical fires if they are not fitted properly for the fixture. If the wattage does not match the recommended wattage for the fixture, you should replace it immediately. Ask your electrician or check the manufacturer’s recommendation for any fixture that starts to flicker without explanation.
You can often identify electrical problems easily by flickering lights, sizzling or buzzing sounds, or circuit breakers that trip unusually often. If you notice any of these signs, you should call your electrician immediately. Your MaintenX electrician should also schedule regular preventative maintenance services to ensure none of these signs are missed before it’s too late.
To learn more about MaintenX’s preventative electrical services, contact us today! We go above and beyond to ensure your facility is always safe, productive, and a great place to work.