As a business owner, you obviously have a huge number of responsibilities to your business as well as your employees and customers. One of your biggest responsibilities is ensuring that your building and your entire property is safe. The electrical system is always the most dangerous component of any building, which makes it essential that you have your electrical system inspected regularly to ensure it is safe. Today, we’re going to discuss how commercial electrical inspections can help to prevent injuries and severe damage so you can better understand why having your electrical system inspected regularly is so important for your business.
Keeping Your Employees and Customers Safe
Regular electrical inspections are essential for keeping your employees and customers safe and protecting them from electrocution or harm due to fire or smoke inhalation. Similarly, if you’re a landlord, regular inspections will also help ensure the safety of your tenants and their guests. Many electrical issues are difficult to spot and will often remain undetected until someone gets shocked or a fire starts.
Electrical fires can be especially hazardous since they often occur behind walls and can smolder for a long time before finally being detected. Once the fire does take off, it can quickly get out of control and lead to serious injuries before the fire department can arrive to put the fire out. Even if you’re lucky enough that no one gets burned, you still have to worry about the possibility of potentially fatal smoke inhalation.
As a commercial business owner, you can be held legally liable should any injuries occur due to electrocution or fires. As such, it is vital that you have your electrical system inspected regularly to ensure it is safe and greatly lessen the chances of any electrical issues or injuries.
Protecting Your Investment
Running a business is a major investment that takes lots of time, money, and effort, and regular electrical inspections are one of the best ways to protect your investment. Should anyone get injured on your property due to any unsafe electrical issues, you could be forced to pay a huge settlement that could ruin your business. Even if you can afford the settlement, the damage that it could do to your business’s reputation may be unrepairable.
A major electrical fire could also cause serious damage and force you to shut down for weeks or months and lose out on a huge amount of profit. If your business is forced to close for a long period, all of your employees may find jobs elsewhere and you could lose most of your customers as well. Once you’ve finally repaired all of the damage and rebuilt, you may basically have to start over from scratch.
Regular electrical inspections are also important for protecting any machinery and equipment as well as all of your computers and electronics. Issues like overloads and short circuits can potentially ruin all of these things by frying the control boards and melting the internal wiring and other components. This can also end up costing you a lot of money due to a loss in productivity as well as the need to repair or replace anything that was damaged. As such, it is important that you make sure all of your outlets and equipment are properly inspected and well maintained.
Electrical inspections and regular maintenance can also help you save money by lessening the need for future repairs or major overhauls. An electrical system that is properly maintained and inspected regularly is far less likely to experience major issues or require expensive repairs.
Ensuring Code Compliance
All commercial electrical systems must conform to the standards set out by the National Electric Code (NEC). Code compliance is essential for protecting your business against potential liability issues and also ensuring that your electrical system is safe and up to date. If your electrical system doesn’t meet NEC standards, you could also end up facing steep fines and other penalties.
If you own a property that you rent out to another business, you are also required to provide your tenant with an electrical safety certificate upon request to ensure that the building conforms to all relevant code requirements. This is yet another reason why you should always have an electrical safety inspection performed every year or so to ensure that you have this important document on hand.
How Often Should a Commercial Electrical Inspection Be Performed?
The recommendation from the National Fire Protection Association is that all commercial buildings should have their electrical system fully inspected and maintained every three to five years. However, this is really the bare minimum and most experts instead recommend you have a commercial electrical inspection performed every year just to be safe. It is also recommended that you have a licensed commercial electrician inspect your building any time you’re doing any major electrical upgrades or if the occupancy of the building increases.
What Does a Commercial Electrical Inspection Involve?
A commercial electrical inspection is a quite complicated process that involves visually inspecting the entire electrical system and all of its components and then testing to make sure everything works properly and there are no issues that need to be repaired. The electrician will always inspect and test all electrical connections and power outlets, and they will also make sure that all of the circuit breakers in the building’s electrical panels still work as they should. Testing the circuit breakers regularly is important as this ensures that they will trip if the circuit ever gets overloaded. If the circuit breaker didn’t trip, the high voltage flowing through the circuit can create a major fire hazard and also cause serious damage to anything hardwired or plugged into the circuit.
When performing a commercial electrical inspection, the electrician will also check all of the building’s appliances to make sure they are free of any electrical issues. This includes things like your water heater, heating system and air conditioning. Inspecting the HVAC system for electrical issues is especially important since commercial HVAC systems tend to be extremely powerful and can suffer major damage when any electrical problems are present. Any electromechanical machines will also need to be fully inspected and tested to ensure safe functioning.
During the inspection, a commercial electrician will also make sure that everything conforms to NEC standards. This includes things like making sure you have GFCI outlets in all areas where the outlet is within a certain distance of a water source or could otherwise be exposed to water. This is important as GFCI outlets help to prevent electrocution, which can easily occur if the outlet or anything plugged into it is ever exposed to water. When water does get into an outlet, it can cause a ground fault that results in the current flowing out of the outlet and into anything nearby including a person.
At Acosta Heating, Cooling & Electrical, we have been providing expert commercial electrical services to customers in the Charlotte area for more than 50 years. We specialize in electrical safety inspections and maintenance, and we can also handle all of your commercial electrical installation and repair needs. We also have a team of certified HVAC technicians that specialize in all types of commercial heating and air conditioning services. For more information on the importance of commercial electrical inspections or to schedule an appointment to have your business’s electrical system inspected, contact us today.