Unless your workplace was built recently, it more than likely has an older electrical system. These older connections can deteriorate over time and leave you in the dark. Temporary fixes can only take you so far, and even a temporary fix can be dangerous if it is carried out by someone who is not qualified and experienced. Changing a lightbulb or perhaps even wiring a plug (depending on where you live, life is wild in some places…) are acceptable, and sometimes expected, to be sorted without calling for help from the professionals. However, that being said, there are definitely times where you should never attempt to fix an electrical issue on your own. Here are the top 10 times you should call in a professional for your office electrical errors.
- Flickering Lights
Unless your office is haunted by a disgruntled past employee (fingers crossed), flickering lights are more often than not a sign of wiring issues within your building. The biggest problem with flickering lights is they are never a sign of something good coming your way. Flickering lights are a fire hazard at the best of times, and at the worst of times they are a clear indication that you are either drawing too much electricity from the outlet/s or your current electrical wiring is frayed. Do not attempt to fix wiring issues yourself! This is both dangerous and costly if you make a mistake and especially if someone gets hurt.
- Corrosion is Not Your Friend
If you notice rust around your breaker box (which is often in the basement of an office building so can go completely unnoticed until it is too late), this is a clear indication that all is not well with your electrical supply. Rusty or corroded spots or patches are a sign that moisture is getting into your panel, which is not exciting news for your electrical system or your workplace.
- Shocking Times
This one really should be a no-brainer, if anything in your office (besides your coffee bill) is shocking you then you need to call in a Commercial Electrician to resolve this issue. It could be an indication that your office building is not adequately earthed which – you guessed it… is a fire hazard. I think the greatest take-away from this article could feasibly be that electrical problems often start fires. Unless your company insurance is totally up to date, (just kidding, we in no way support or encourage insurance fraud) you should call in the pros.
- Expansive Extensions
If you find yourself running extension cords from desk to desk, and it is not a temporary thing, you need to seriously consider calling in a professional. You clearly have an inadequate number of outlets to serve your business needs and running those extension cords is a double-whammy of a safety hazard – both from a tripping perspective, and once again, from a fire perspective. If you have recently automated some of your office systems, you may require an increased electricity supply and not even know it yet.
- Break-dancing Breakers
If your office electrical breakers are tripping repeatedly, you probably need help from an experienced commercial electrician. It is normal for fuses to blow from time to time, but if you have an entire section of your office tripping out regularly it could be the result of a system overload. Next time it happens, take note of how many items were running at the same time as this could be as a result of Nancy making her 17th cup of coffee. If this is not the case, and Nancy has gone cold turkey, call in a professional to evaluate your current electrical supply and set-up.
- Unsightly and Unsafe Connections
If you have too many cables crossing floors or taped to walls, it is time to call in qualified assistance to give you more outlets or rerun your cabling in more convenient locations inside trunking. These cables can be tripping hazards and end up with someone getting hurt and mountains of paperwork to complete on a Friday afternoon, both of those are highly unexciting and certainly not recommended outcomes.
- Old Wiring
If your office building (or home, for that matter) has wiring and electrical outlets are older than 20 years, it is time for an upgrade. Unfortunately, electrical wiring and plug-points do not mature with age like a fine wine – they do what the rest of us do and stop working intermittently or permanently. Yes, that point was dark, and your office will be too if you do not get your power system updated.
- Sparks Fly
As close as you may be to your favourite office cubicle, if any of your electrical items cause sparks to fly – call for help immediately. The same applies if you see flames. As much as HR Hank thinks he can fix it, the truth is he most definitely 100% cannot. These are signs of something wrong with either the item you have plugged into the outlet or the actual outlet itself and trust me, he will not know how to tell which one is causing the problem.
- Buzzing Without Bees
Unless you have hit your head one too many times after opening your inbox on a Monday morning, or a family of honeybees moved into the break room overnight, buzzing is never a good thing. This could be a different sign that your wiring is faulty and is generally the forewarning to a fire starting. A twisted fire starting…Prodigy fans – you are welcome! (You will probably need a professional for the bees too, but this article cannot help you with that).
- A Nothing Switch
If you have recently moved into your new office block and you notice that you have a switch that does absolutely nothing, no lights, no magic, no fireworks, you should call in a professional. It could be the result of an overzealous builder with a bad memory or it could be the result of the previous company’s HR Hank thinking he can rewire office blocks. It is safer and easier to call in a professional to have a look.