Protect your Staff and Property from Electrical Fires

Protect your Staff and Property from Electrical Fires. As an owner of property used for business it’s likely you have thought about the risks of fire and what preventative measures should be employed, but have you thought about how to protect your staff and property from electrical fires ?

The risk of fire caused by an electrical fault can be hidden from normal view and less obvious to detect for someone who has responsibility for the safety of persons  in a non domestic situation. This is one reason why it is important to have your electrical systems inspected and tested by a competent person and in accordance with BS 7671. Below are three examples of where overheating, with the potential to cause fire, have occurred. All three examples were found by a Veriserv engineer whilst carrying out inspection and testing prior to delivering an Electrical Installation Condition Report to our customer.

This first example is an electrical wall socket that had been overheating. It did become obvious as a fire actually started and was thankfully spotted and extinguished before it spread. It was then left in a live condition before being picked up during the electrical inspection and testing by Veriserv.

The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) produce Electrical Inspection & Testing Guidance Note 3 to BS7671. Section 2.5.2g states that fire barriers, suitable seals and/or protection against thermal effects should be provided if necessary to meet the requirements of BS 7671 to minimise the spread of fire.

In this example a live electrical cable has been touching the moving mechanical parts of an isolator switch and has rubbed through the insulation causing overheating and the risk of electric shock. This was found by Veriserv during a visual inspection of the isolator.  IET Guidance note 3 2.5.1c states that cables and cable management systems should be designed and installed taking into account the mechanical stresses that users of the installation will make upon the installation.

In this example a cable connection within the electrical distribution board had become loose and overheated. As this is a relatively modern board manufactured using fire resistant material, and the overheated parts are contained within a closed compartment, this fault it is unlikely to cause fire to spread.  Older equipment however may be higher risk as more susceptible to combustion or the spread of electrical fires.

Make sure you employ a qualified electrical engineer to periodically inspect your electrical installation. For more information or to make an enquiry please contact Veriserv Limited.