When it comes to commercial buildings, electrical safety is of utmost importance to not only protect employees against dangers, but also to ensure that you remain compliant with the latest regulations. Unlike residential properties, corporate premises are filled with considerably more complex electrical systems, which means that it is imperative that only those who are fully trained carry out any work. With this in mind, if you are new to taking responsibility for a business property or strive to improve safety, we have put together a comprehensive guide to answer the question ‘what do commercial electricians do?’.
What Do Commercial Electricians Do? A Comprehensive Guide
Commercial electricians are trained and licensed to complete work on wiring and electrical systems in a property open to the public. As corporate premises are often on a large-scale basis, it means that several laws are put in place to ensure that electrical systems never cause a threat to employees or visitors. Through working alongside a qualified commercial electrician, as opposed to attempting projects alone, you can have peace of mind that installations meet all regulations.
Due to the extensive expertise of commercial electricians, they are able to provide business owners with a host of services, which protect your company against dangers, streamline operations and create a better working environment. To give an insight into just some of the many projects that electricians can carry out, we’re going to run through the most popular services available at Heath Electrical Services:
- Electrical Inspections
- PAT Testing
- Fire Alarm Systems
- CCTV & Security Alarms
- Data Cabling & Telephones
- Conventional Fire Alarm – This is best suited to low-risk buildings such as those with no cooking facilities. Your premises will be divided into zones, which means that if a fire breaks out, you will be able to spot what zone it is in but not the specific location.
- Addressable Fire Alarm – Ideal for higher risk properties, such as schools and hospitals, each addressable fire alarm is given its own address. This means that if a fire breaks out, you will be able to determine the precise location.
- Wireless Fire Alarm – These are ideal if you require the features of an addressable fire alarm but do not want to fill your building with lots of wiring.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1974 states that, as a commercial property owner, you are responsible for reassuring the health and safety of those inside your premises. Both employees and members of the public must be protected against electrical threats, meaning that there should be no risks to them while carrying out daily activities. The most effective way to guarantee full compliance with the regulations is to schedule regular electrical testing with qualified professionals. Just like any other working mechanism, electrical installations are filled with several different components, which means that they will inevitably begin to deteriorate over time. Frequent testing will ensure that any problems can be detected before they have a chance to grow.
When enlisting the support of Heath Electrical Services for an electrical inspection in Milton Keynes, you can have peace of mind that all electricians are NICEIC accredited contractors who have years of experience in the industry. The accreditation means that all commercial electricians are regularly assessed to ensure processes have been streamlined, and knowledge is kept up-to-date.
All electrical inspections carried out by Heath Electrical Services will include the following:
The most basic assessment of electrical installations is a visual inspection, which is used to spot any telltale signs that they are beginning to deteriorate. Any signs of damage or defects will be identified before being used to devise a Visual Inspection Report (VIR). Included in the Visual Inspection Report will be a full list of observations, along with an overall summary of the condition of each installation. You will also be provided with several recommendations on how to improve the safety of your property which, as a business owner, we strongly recommend acting on to avoid running into the wrong side of the law.
Electrical Installation Condition Report
As the visual inspection does not test any circuits, it is imperative also to book for a professional to complete an electrical installation condition report (EICR). The electrical installation condition report is considerably more detailed than the VIR as it is used to discover any hidden damage in installations, which would otherwise not be noticeable until a major, often irreversible, problem occurred.
An EICR, also known as periodic inspection and testing, involves a full assessment of circuits. This means that, for the duration of your examination, all electrics in the building will need to be switched off from the mains supply. Ultimately, an EICR is used to determine whether installations are in good enough condition to continue being used without coming alongside any risks to health and safety. Again, on completion of the inspection, you will be provided with a full summary of electrical installations, including improvement recommendations.
Another way to guarantee compliance with electrical regulations is to book regular PAT testing of all portable appliances and equipment. While a PAT test is not necessarily a legal requirement and there are no laws regarding how often they must be scheduled for, again, they will help you to meet the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. How often that you book PAT testing will be determined by the environment your business falls into and whether it is high or low risk. For more information on the different categories, along with a full explanation of what is involved in PAT Testing, take a look at Surrey Fire & Safety Ltd.
During a PAT test, a visual inspection will be carried out, along with a more in-depth assessment using specialist testing equipment. This will help to determine whether electricals are safe enough to continue using, ensuring that they do not pose any dangers to users. On completion of the test, each appliance will be marked with either a green label, signifying that it passed, or a red label which means that it has failed.
Similar to electrical inspections, all appliance testing must be carried out by trained professionals. With this in mind, if you are in need of PAT testing in Milton Keynes, then do not hesitate to contact Heath Electrical Services. Our team will work with you to ensure that you remain compliant with all regulations.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, otherwise known as the RRO, includes all laws with regards to protecting your commercial property against fires. Here it states that all premises used for business purposes must be equipped with an ‘appropriate fire detection system’ to keep those inside safe. However, whether you opt for a full fire alarm system or a conventional alarm depends on your property type. For instance, if you only own small, single-storey premises where you could spot a fire wherever you are in the building, then you will not need a full system. However, properties such as office blocks, hotels and shopping centres will need to invest in a complete system installed by a qualified electrician.
When equipping your property with fire alarms, there are three main system types to choose from. Again, this will be determined by your building type and includes the following:
Along with various system types, fire alarms also fall into different categories, which means that each is best suited to a different environment. For more information on the categories of fire alarms, take a look at Jackon Fire & Security Solutions.
Along with help to comply with regulations, commercial electricians are also on hand to improve the overall safety of your property. Being approved by industry-leading bodies means that electricians can carry out just about any electrical-related project around your premises. One of the most popular remains the installation of CCTV cameras and security alarms to deter intruders.
When opting for installing CCTV, there are strict guidelines that must be followed to ensure that your business complies with the Data Protection Act. First, you must display signs across the premises which informs others that there are CCTV cameras in operation on site, along with why they are being used. Anyone who has been captured on your CCTV is within their right to ask for recordings, in which you must be able to provide records within one calendar month. This also applies to if authorities, such as the police, were to ask for images. Last, but most definitely not least, CCTV images should only ever be kept for the necessary time period, no longer. AAI Security Systems has put together a helpful guide to all laws regarding the use of CCTV for more details.
As a commercial property owner, not only is it imperative to protect individuals, but also all of the electronics, equipment and documents stored inside. With this in mind, to avoid becoming a victim of burglary, we strongly recommend installing security alarms. Almost all modern security alarms are now accompanied access control, which permits only authorised personnel to your property. It is your choice as to whether you opt for implementing passcodes, key cards, fingerprints, PINs or key fobs; all of which are equally as effective at keeping your premises secure. Should someone try to enter your property without one of the listed entry methods, then this will alert the alarm system, which will begin to ring.
As a business, communication is vital in guaranteeing smooth-running operations. To ensure that every business is equipped with the latest technology to streamline processes, our commercial electricians in Northampton and the surrounding areas also provide data and telephone services. From WiFi boosters and internet points to network switches and telephone sockets, a comprehensive range of expertise is available to enhance your businesses operations.
Through installing reliable telephone systems and data cabling, your business will be able to reap a host of benefits. Not only are they easily scalable, able to accommodate a growing business, but it also means that you can keep any disruption to day-to-day activities at a minimum. Should you experience an unexpected problem, you will not have to worry about data being lost as all systems will be equipped with a layer of protection for effective disaster recovery.
Creating A Safe, Efficient Environment
Creating a working environment that is not only protected against electrical dangers, but also comfortable and safe, can be made easy with the support of a commercial electrician. The services mentioned above is just a small insight into the host of projects that electricians can help you with. Other popular services include LED lighting installation and fitting electrical car charging units; all of which are used to incorporate the latest technology into your business.