Top Signs Your Office Needs Electric Repair

Top Signs Your Office Needs Electrical Repairs

What are the signs that your office might need electrical repairs? How can you tell? Here are the top signs we discern. Read on to find out!

From 2003 to 2011, there were between 200 and 400 deaths per year in Singapore due to electrical fires.

Additionally, there were more than 3,800 fire calls in Singapore in 2017. While this is a 40-year low, it is still a staggeringly high number.

Why take the risk?

More often than not, paying attention to common warning signs can prevent electrical fires.

Read on to learn the vital signs that indicate your office needs electrical repairs.

Why Electrical Repairs Are a Must

First, let's discuss why electrical repairs shouldn't be left unchecked or even ignored.

Faulty electrical hardware in your system can cause a variety of risks. These risks include personnel and customer safety hazards, property damage, business liability, and much more.

1. Safety Hazards

Electrical repairs should be mandatory for malfunctioning electrical equipment for the safety hazards alone. Accidents caused by faulty electrical equipment can cause burns, shocks, electrocution, and even death.

For the sake of your own personal security and all those who come into contact with your business, electrical safety should be a top priority.

2. Shock

When a person is shocked by an exposed wire or a faulty electrical device of a low electrical current, the shock can be painful but not badly injured.

Sometimes, the voltage is high enough to cause electrical burns at the point of contact of the electrical device. These burns, while not life-threatening, can sometimes be severe.

3. Electrocution

The term electrocution means death or extreme injury caused by electric shock. Differentiating from common electric shock, electrocution is what generally kills people. While it's still a significant threat, work is being done in Singapore to prevent as many electrocutions each year as possible.

4. Fire

As noted above, electrical fires are incredibly common in both homes and industrial settings. These are caused by faulty and outdated electrical equipment. If the electrical system in place is too old and can no longer handle the increased wattage of your current business needs, it could very well overload the system, leading to a fire. Additionally, human error can cause electrical fires by using lightbulbs that have too much wattage for the socket or overloading an outlet.

5. Electrical Equipment Longevity

Another hazard of faulty or outdated electrical equipment is the effect it has on the electronics used to keep your office operating smoothly. For example, spikes and dips in the current running through your electrical system can cause your equipment to overheat or even short-out.  Over time, these effects can reduce the lifespan of your electronics. Additionally, most businesses depend on electronics in one way or another. Not having a reliable electrical system can cause a major breakdown in the day-to-day function of your business.

6. Building Codes

Finally, cities maintain stringent safety standard when it comes to electrical systems. These standards are even stricter for businesses. Electrical hazards at a business have a far greater potential to cause harm to people and property than at a residential building.

7. Signs Indicating the Need for Electrical Repairs

Now that we've discussed why electrical repairs are important, let's move on to the signs to watch out for indicating you need electrical repairs. Do not take any of these signs lightly, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Even the smallest problems can be indicative of larger problems within the electrical system.

8. Outlets

Outlets are one of the most common hot-zones (no pun intended) for electrical glitches. They also happen to be one of the most common areas people get shocked or burned. Pay attention to outlets. If they exhibit any of these indicators, it's time to call an electrician. No exceptions!

  • Dead: The outlet (one or both) does not provide power to appliances plugged into it.
  • Hot: While in use or otherwise, the outlet gets warm or hot to the touch.
  • Scorch or Smoke Marks: The outlet has apparent burn marks or evidence of smoke.
  • Damaged: The outlet is chipped, cracked, or pulling out of the wall.
  • Broken Prongs: The outlet has prongs from appliances stuck in it.

9. Wires

Signs of wires needing electrical repairs are straightforward. If a wire is damaged, bent, burnt or fraying, don't take any risks. Damaged wires are an electrical malfunction waiting to happen. If any wire doesn't look 100%, call an electrician.

10. Smells

Trust your nose. If you think you smell smoke or the odour of burning electrical equipment, turn off the breaker immediately. Burning electrical equipment has a distinct smell. In fact, many people relate it to a fishy smell. This is caused by the materials that electrical components are made of. Smelling smoke is a more serious situation. If you smell smoke, it means something is quite possibly already on fire.If you smell electrical overheating (fish) or smoke, turn off your breakers immediately and call an electrician. It would also be a good idea to get a fire extinguisher handy.

11. Sounds

Another common indication that electrical repairs are needed is the audible feedback heard when turning on lights or appliances. Buzzing, crackling, and sizzling sounds heard could all imply a problem with the electrical system. These noises can stem from wires, outlets, and breakers. You can try to pinpoint the noise yourself, but you'll need to call an electrician regardless.

12. Pain

As discussed above, malfunctioning electrical equipment can result in a variety of injuries, some severe, some minor. Consequently, being shocked, burned, or electrocuted by appliances, outlets, switches, or wires is a strong sign that your office needs electrical repairs. Hopefully, the discovery of faulty electrical components in this way won't lead to any serious harm. Even a small shock demands calling an electrician immediately, as it may be a symptom of a much more serious problem.

13. Lights

The lights in your business space are very important to the atmosphere you are trying to create. However, they can also be a huge help in determining if you need electrical repairs. Several things can occur in the electrical system that effects light switches and bulbs.

14. Failure to Light

A malfunctioning light switch may indicate a glitch in the electrical system. When you flip the light on and nothing happens, first make sure the problem is not internal. Then, follow these steps:

  • Make sure the bulb is fresh and hasn't blown.
  • Make sure the bulb is fully inserted (surprisingly common issue).
  • If the light isn't hard-wired into the electrical system, make sure it's actually plugged in.
  • If the light is a plug-in light, make sure the power cord is properly seated and not damaged.
  • Make sure the light fixture switch is not malfunctioning.
  • Go to the breaker and make sure it is in the "on" position and the fuse isn't blown.

If, after all of this, you still can't figure out what the problem is, call an electrician. While it may turn out to be something simple, if there is a glitch in the wiring or somewhere else in the system, it's best to know about it.

15. Blown Bulbs

Almost everyone has flipped the light on and heard the bulb blow. This isn't entirely uncommon. However, the reason behind why the bulb is blowing can be a significant indication that electrical repairs are needed.

First, a blown bulb could mean it's at the end of its life. Additionally, it could just be that you're buying really cheap light bulbs. Cheaper bulbs have thinner elements and can blow with the smallest surge of energy, even just turning it on. Another simple explanation for a blown bulb is that it wasn't seated fully. This creates a gap in which electricity then arcs, creating excess heat, resulting in a blown bulb. However, if you are continuously blowing bulbs, it may be indicative of a more in-depth and serious electrical problem. In this case, call an electrician.

16. Flickering

Like blown bulbs, flickering bulbs could simply show a weak connection somewhere. The light is not getting a steady stream of electricity. However, flickering lights can also be a symptom of a widespread electrical problem throughout the entire building.

17. Dimming

While it's extremely common, lights dimming while other appliances are being used shouldn't happen. This could be a sign of a bad neutral connection. Bad neutral connections can stem from an un-insulated connection in the metre or from the pole on the side of the building.

18. Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker is a safety device of sorts keeping your appliance from pulling too much electricity. When this happens, it will flip a breaker and cut power to everything connected to that breaker. If a breaker isn't flipped and the appliance continues to pull too much power, a fire can result. A breaker will commonly switch if too many appliances are drawing power at once as well. This is rare in new buildings with updated electrical. However, in older buildings with outdated systems, it can happen frequently.

If you find yourself constantly flipping breakers, it may be indicative that your electrical system needs to be updated. However, it's also a possibility that there is a fault somewhere in the system and electrical repairs are necessary.

In either event, it's important that you have the problem checked by an electrician, as this could lead to a potentially dangerous situation.

Another thing to be conscious of concerning circuit breakers is any physical damage on the unit. A malfunctioning circuit breaker will allow appliances to overdraw power and your system to be overloaded, leading to excess heat and potential fires.

Electrical Repairs: DIY or Professional Hire?

When faced with electrical repairs, it's not uncommon for people to assume they can do it themselves. Most of the time, it's in an effort to save money. However, permits and inspections are generally required when performing DIY electrical work, especially in commercial buildings. Pulling permits and hiring an inspector can take time and money, and that's assuming you even know how to perform electrical repairs correctly.

A plethora of issues can arise when conducting DIY electrical repairs, including:

1. Fires 

An inexperienced person conducting repairs can easily overload a circuit, use the wrong wire, or make flawed connections, which can all result in an electrical fire.

2. Health Hazards 

Amateur electrical work accounts for a significant amount of deaths each year in Singapore. Sadly, the victims of amateur electrical work have nothing to do with the entire process, such as Tan Yao Bin.

However, the number of injuries large and small due to DIY electrical repairs is incalculable, as most are not reported.

3. Extra Costs 

More money can be spent in the long run after trying DIY electrical work, as many people create more problems than what they're trying to correct, creating more work for professional electricians.

4. Complications 

DIY electrical repairs frequently lead to mixed wires, improperly labelled connection or breakers, and usage of the wrong components.

5. Code Violations 

Most people aren't aware of building codes involved in electrical work and unintentionally but easily violate them.

6. Benefits of Hiring a Professional

On the other hand, hiring a professional electrician can save you time and money, despite most DIYer's inaccurate assumptions. But hiring a professional comes with many other benefits as well.

7. Licensed and Certified

Professional electricians are certified and licensed through exhaustive training standards. Therefore, they are incredibly familiar with building codes and permit requirements.

8. Safe 

Hiring a professional electrician means ensuring the safety of your business, your customers, and your employees.

9. Longevity 

Having electrical repairs done professionally means the electrical system and equipment will work efficiently and last much longer.

10. Problem Solvers

Professional electricians are well-educated in their field. They know what to look out for and how to solve electrical problems.

11. Quick and Clean

Professional electricians can get the job done in a fraction of the time you can. They also know how to complete a job without making a mess of things.