Older Offices Not Designed for Today's Electrical Requirements
In an article written by power module suppliers CMD, Mr Wilson was joined by leading safety consultants Chris Hassall from uComply Risk Management and John Greenfield of Duke Health and Safety Management in highlighting fears that many old office buildings lack the number of plug sockets needed for the range of modern electrical equipment used. Older wiring is often rated for a lower amperage than is required in modern buildings which can result in overloaded sockets.
Mr Wilson says, “It is quite common to go in to older premises and see a maze of trailing cables under desks. These will often be missed from annual tests due to the fact that they go unnoticed.”
Electrical fires are always a concern when it comes to old wiring and outdated electrical systems. Over time wiring deteriorates, and in some cases previous tenants have made ad hoc modifications that can lead to greater safety risks.
Employees are often forced to rely on multiple extension leads to support their devices, the safety of which are not always monitored.
Bruce Cantrill, marketing manager at CMD, adds, “Technology is changing daily and it’s important for offices to be able to support the electrical output needed and keep employees safe.”
Electrical hazards can go unnoticed in a busy office, often due to the fact that employees lack the training to correctly identify potential problems.
Many fire-safety issues often begin out of sight, with equipment such as heaters and tangled sockets rows typically found crammed under the desk.
Fake and faulty equipment or office and electrical equipment that is not PAT tested (in the UK), also represents a potential fire threat.