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The electrics in a building carry a great deal of responsibility with them. They will illuminate the space, ensure the internet works, provide heating, cooking facilities and power all machinery and technology. With all that power comes some risk as electrical faults are one of the key causes of fires in a building and lighting can be main of the main problem areas. Everyone would like to have faith that their lighting is properly installed but how do you really know? Here are a few of things you should look at to ensure yours is set up properly.
Review the lights themselves
Properly installed lighting is more than just wiring so the first port of call is to do a visual appraisal on the actual lights themselves as there can be obvious tell-tale signs. Have a look and see if you can spot any of the following:
- Do all the same lights have the same type of bulb fitted?
- Are any of the bulbs flickering or making crackling sounds?
- Are they any bulbs which aren’t lit up?
- Are there any bulbs missing, particularly on a fixture which has other bulbs lit up?
- Are there any exposed wires or damaged casing?
If your lights have any of these issues they should be addressed as soon as possible, particularly any exposed wiring.
Check the light switches
The switches are what open the flow of electricity to the lights so these need to be reviewed too. Have a look at:
- Do they operate the way you would expect them to (in terms of the switch’s on/off position)?
- Do any of them seem redundant, having no effect on any nearby lights?
- Are there any dimmer switches in place and do they indeed dim or brighten any of the lights?
- Are any of the switch casings loose, cracked or damaged in any way and how is the wall area surrounding it too?
Any damage or poor functionality of the switches should form part of an improvement process for the lighting of a building.
Lighting isn’t always limited to being mains-powered and overhead – lamps are sometimes used too so these also need verifying:
- What state is the socket in that they are plugged into?
- Are there any extension cables used to connect them to the plug?
- Are the wires a trip hazard for anyone working in the area?
- Why are the lamps there in the first place – is it because one of the main lights isn’t working? Is it to illuminate an otherwise gloomy area?
- Have the lamps been PAT tested with it clearly marked on the item to denote its safety?
Lamps can be a great addition to a workplace if they are safely used so ensure yours don’t have any of the issues mentioned above to create a safer environment.
Behind the scenes
As stated, the electrics of a building are one of the most important yet hazardous areas. As such, the wiring needs to be properly installed and fixed wire testing needs to be conducted regularly. Consider:
- Who did the electrics in the first place – do you know the person or company and their experience?
- When were the electrics installed and were they properly certified?
- When was the last time fixed wire testing took place and is it being done regularly?
If you know the answers and are satisfied with all of the above you should feel reassured that your lighting is properly installed. If in any doubt whatsoever, employ the services of a professional company to help get you where you need to be.