18 Dec Does My Business Need Rewiring?
Maintaining retail or office business premises can sometimes feel like you’re coming up against a never ending stream of rules and regulations. It can be a frustration to keep on top of, but those regulations have been put in place not only to protect your employees, but your business too. Besides those regulations though, there’s some maintenance you should consider undertaking.
One such item of maintenance could be a rewiring of your premises. It’s a scary prospect, and possibly a costly one, but it can be hard to know if your premises require it. So, let’s go through the basics.
The first thing you should think about is the age of your building. A rewiring job is only likely to be required if your premises is old and is reliant on out of date and potentially dangerous wiring practices. More recent buildings, constructed in the 1980’s onwards, are unlikely to need a complete rewiring, but nevertheless, the possibility remains. There’s also a good chance that even if you’re in an older building that it was rewired by a previous occupant, and therefore meets current safety standards.
Main fears around wiring in older commercial properties surrounds the potential for fires. Many businesses wired up before 1984 didn’t make use of earth cables, and many also used aluminium wire rather than copper. Aluminium wire is around 55 times more likely to cause a fire than copper, due to its extremely high running temperature. If you’re trying to gauge the age of your wiring, look out for:
- Round pin plugs still wired up.
- An old consumer unit.
- Metal conduit running to the sockets or lights.
If any of those are visible, it’s worth investigating further. More generalised checks for old and frayed wiring or fuse boxes being mounted on wood should yield further information about the age of your wiring. As always though, you should take extreme caution when examining your electronics.
With a basic inspection performed, it might be time to call in a professional electrician. You’ll be given an assessment on the state of your premises’ wiring and, if required, a quote on the cost of replacing your out of date wiring. Indeed, this is one of the most expensive electrical jobs that can be performed, and depending on the size of your business, it could amount to a large sum.
Leaving it alone though is not only a sure fire way to fail an Electrical Installation Condition Report, but also a terrific hazard to you, your employees and your stock. The cost of a fire in your office could be astronomic, so remember, don’t shy away from rewiring your premises.