Did you know that half of all heating and electrical fires occur between December and February? With more people at home and using more electricity, cooking appliances and heating equipment are the most common causes of house fires in the winter months.
Are these statistics the same for commercial properties? According to Vanguard, there is a definite, enhanced risk of electrical fires in businesses as boilers and heating equipment are in constant use, not to mention the dry air makes conditions flammable.
Office kitchens are in use more frequently in the winter as well. With kettles, microwaves, coffee machines and lights constantly on, it’s no surprise that electrical fires are more common in the colder months of the year.
So, what can you do?
To protect your business from fire risks, make sure you check the following:
- Sockets – If your sockets show any signs of damage such as power cutting out, fuses blowing, scorch marks, noises or burning smells, it is essential that you replace them immediately. Their frequency of use means that they are a clear risk for causing electrical fires, if not maintained properly.
- Heating system – It goes without saying that in winter, every business needs an effective heating system. Regular maintenance of your boiler and heating system will minimise the risk of fires starting due to faulty heating and in turn, increase safety and comfort for your team.
- Appliances – It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that all appliances pass portable appliance testing (PAT) by a certified electrician. This consists of both a visual inspection and electrical tests.
- Lighting – Every electrical light fixture, regardless of its intended function, is a fire risk. This is due to the fact that an electrical connection is necessary. Frequent safety checks of your lighting system, especially your emergency lights, are essential.
- Fire Alarms – Having a fire alarm system is only effective if it actually works. Regular maintenance and knowing what to do when your system isn’t working will make all the difference in fire prevention.
- Fixed Wiring – The system used to carry electricity around your building needs to be tested to ensure it can easily deal with the amount of electricity being used. Older wiring systems are sometimes unable to cope with the demands businesses place on them and circuits can be overloaded.
- Flammable materials – Identifying flammable risks is essential in order to ensure proper storage procedures. This includes cleaning materials, the contents of stationery cupboards, cloakrooms, and so on.
Minimise electrical fire risks in winter with Volta Compliance
Protecting your business from electrical fires is what we do at Volta Compliance. Our expert team carry out comprehensive inspections of your electrical wiring and fire alarm systems, to minimise the risk of electrical fires breaking out due to faults and ensure your business is compliant with fire regulations.
We can also advise on the best way to protect against electrical fires in winter, giving you peace of mind in those risky months of the year. To arrange an inspection for your business, contact Volta Compliance’s friendly, experienced team today on 0113 397 1361 or email [email protected] and we’ll get back to you soon.