Electricity can do amazing things; whether it’s charging your cell phone or powering entire cities, it is something that has changed our world and technology as we know it. One of my first experiences with the power of electricity came when I was around five years old. My brothers thought it would be funny to have me grab the electric fence that kept our pigs in the pasture and laugh as I struggled to let go as the fence was zapping me. Needless to say, that experience quickly led me to respect the dangerous side of electricity – and taught me a new trick that I played on a few of my younger cousins growing up too.
Although electricity is a very necessary and useful part of our daily lives, its safety precautions should not be taken for granted. Not only is it vitally important to know how dangerous electricity can be, but special attention about how poor maintenance on electrical systems can lead to electrical failure in equipment, or worse, catastrophic fires should also be noted. Although it may seem insignificant, basic electrical maintenance can go a long way in preventing electrical fires or electrical surges which can damage property. Below are a few basic tips you can do at your home or business to help ensure your electrical systems are performing as they should.
- Keep electrical panels free of excessive dust and dirt.
- Do not store items within three feet of electrical panels.
- Keep panels dry and free from potential sources of water.
- Wipe down panels with lint-free rags and solvents as needed.
- Minimize heat buildup in rooms with electrical panels.
- Inspect panels for any signs of corrosion, loose wires/breakers, and signs of excess heat.
There are many more ways to stop electrical issues before they start, especially for businesses with larger electrical systems, including a standard electrical preventive maintenance program (EPM). A standard EPM program should consist of a scheduled inspection of electrical systems to include testing and maintenance of critical electrical components and their support systems. It is also imperative to remember that whether you’re dealing with electrical components within your business or at home, if you are not familiar or comfortable with electrical systems, have a qualified electrician assist you in any inspections, maintenance, or electrical repair needs.
As I conclude the writing of this article, the words of Elton John’s song come to mind, “And suddenly I’m flying, flying like a bird, like electricity, electricity, sparks inside of me, and I’m free.” Unlike the words in Elton’s song, if your feeling sparks of electricity, you most definitely will not be free. Don’t let poor electrical safety get the best of you.
For more information on how to keep yourself and others safe from electrical accidents, watch the following video.
Centrals Electrical Maintenance Loss Control Bulletin