According to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) President Brett Brenner, “Electrical accidents that occur in an office environment are usually a result of faulty or defective equipment, unsafe installation, or misuse of equipment – specifically, extension cords, power strips and surge protectors.”
Common electrical hazards found in office environments:
- Overloaded outlets
- Unsafe/non-approved equipment
- Improper placement of electrical cords
- Live parts unguarded, such as broken/loose outlet plates
- Pulling of plugs to shut off power
- Blocking electrical panel doors
Tips to protect against electrical incidents at the office:
- Even when using a surge protector, make sure the electrical load is not too much for the circuit.
- Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances. Never plug in more than one high-wattage appliance at a time!
- Electrical appliances can be fire hazards! Be sure to turn off all appliances at the end of the day.
- Inspect electrical cords once a month to ensure they are not frayed, cracked or otherwise damaged.
- Inspect all covers on light switches and outlets, and have any damaged covers replaced by a qualified person.
- Do not run electrical cords through high-traffic areas, under carpets or across doorways.
- Consider having a licensed electrician install additional outlets where needed, rather than relying on extension cords and power strips.
- Ensure all electrical equipment is certified by a nationally recognized laboratory and read all manufacturers’ instructions carefully.
- Maintain at least 3 feet of clearance in front of all electrical panels.
Remember, safety begins with you!