03 Jun Why you should consider upgrading your commercial property electrics
Electricity can severely injure and kill people. Faulty electrical installations and appliances can cause electric shock and fire. Faced with these facts, it makes sense to make sure your commercial property electrics are up to scratch.
If that isn’t enough to spur you into action, consider this – if you are an employer, you have the legal obligation to ensure a safe working environment for your employees and customers. Electrical safety is a crucial part of running a business and it’s covered in law by The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA).
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is black and white with regards to this. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the safety of an electrical installation. To convey just how important this is, consider that a death in the workplace caused by faulty electrics can bring forward a corporate manslaughter suit. Nobody wants that.
Are my electrics up to scratch?
A visual inspection isn’t enough. Your electrical system also needs testing to determine whether it is safe and fit for purpose. Electrical testing tests electrical installations. Electrical inspection is a visual check of the system.
The test will uncover any irregularities or failures in the system. It will produce an electrical condition report. The report records the results of the inspection and testing and provides a written record of the inspection. If the testing and inspection uncovers faults in the system, it is your legal duty to correct them as soon as possible.
How frequently should a test be carried out? Commercial properties such as office blocks should have an electric report performed once a year. Industrial workshops and factories with appliances might benefit from a report every six months. The law states that the report should always be carried out by a NICEIC accredited electrician.
Upgrading your commercial property electrics
There are three ways you can upgrade a commercial electrical installation:
- New: This is where the whole electrical installation is installed new. A complete rewire has been carried out and a new fuse box installed.
- Addition: This is where the existing electrical system has been modified to meet any safety standards. It typically replaces writes and adds new circuits.
- Alteration: This is where one or more existing circuits have been modified or extended or where a fuse box has been replaced.
For all these upgrades, an Electrical Installation Certificates (EIC) must be issued. This certifies that the upgrade is safe and informs the person responsible for the installation it is their duty to maintain it under HASAWA.
Which type of upgrade is relevant to you depends on the condition of your existing electrical installation. Systems that are more than 20 years old will likely need replacing in their entirety, so a new installation applies. Newer systems may experience some voltage issues and short circuiting for a variety of reasons. Testing these will determine the correct course of action, which will typically be alteration of the system.
Here are five reasons why you should upgrade your commercial property electrics
It is your duty as set out by The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure the electrical system in your commercial property is up to scratch. If it is unsafe, you are breaking the law and it should be put right.
- Electrical performance
If you rely on electricity to power appliances and everyday things like lighting, an old electrical system can cause dips in performance. You might experience power cuts or odd appliance behaviour. If you experience these, you should get your system checked over.
Eventually, all electrics need replacing because they degrade over time. Upgrading your commercial electrics now, whether that’s with a new installation or addition or alteration, will ensure your system remains operational into the future.
- Big equipment upgrades
Can your electrical system handle the new machinery you’re looking at? If it draws considerable power, your existing electrics might not be able to power it. You might need a much bigger breaker installation under the circumstances.
- Reduce electricity usage
Old electrical systems aren’t as efficient as newer ones. Old circuits can draw more power than they need. This can lead to higher electricity bills. You can reduce your electricity bills with more efficient electrical infrastructure.
Interested in upgrading your commercial electrics? Call us on 0800 9788 168 or 0113 8941 968 to speak to one of our experts.