Why An Electrician Is Needed When An Emergency Collapses
A power outage can be a complete inconvenience, but an electric outrage can be equally as bad. As utilities like electric companies and fire companies respond to growing demands for emergency services, they are seeing the dangers of ignoring electrical fires. In some areas, entire neighborhoods have been forced to evacuate due to power outages, only to find that their homes have burned down. While most power outages have been the result of a natural disaster or a malfunction with the utility company’s equipment, there are also a growing number of power outages being caused by those who act negligently when it comes to getting ready for a fire.
According to Philadelphia officials
the largest number of fire calls came in road sections across the city in September. Philadelphia police captain Mike Konstantin said that the majority of calls were for electrical fires starting in apartment buildings and multi-unit dwellings. The fires caused more than $1 million in damages to properties. Most residential fires could have easily been put out with an automatic fire extinguisher, but the majority of calls were from business owners who did not leave enough time before their building went up in flames. According to Konstantin, officials believe that many business owners either did not have a working smoke alarm or did not know they were required to have one.
When officials analyzed the reasons
for why so many of these commercial buildings experienced storm-related power outages in one section of the city, they found that the common denominator was lack of preparation. A fire marshall in Newtown was asked to review about 150 calls that were received in the town from October through May. Of these calls, about half were for electrical fires, and the remainder were for fire hazards stemming from grease fumes, cooking oil spills, or cooking hazards in unventilated kitchens. The majority of the buildings that received severe storm-related power outages had no way of being alerted to the danger of a possible electrical fire, and when they did become aware of the danger, it too was too late.
When inspectors performed site investigations of these buildings
they discovered that many of the elevators in the properties had not been maintained properly over the years. They had not been checked for frayed wiring, exposed cords, or loose hardware, and even had broken switches. As the result of these inspections, the elevator company had replaced many of the older lifts with newer high-voltage line models. The power supply of these elevators was changed to a high-voltage line, and the property management center was hired as an attendance monitor to make sure that all elevator components were working correctly.
Another main contributor to the problems of an aging
and obsolete power supply is poor maintenance of the building’s emergency lighting system. Many buildings have installed outdated, inefficient, low-rated, or low-power emergency lighting systems. In many cases, these systems are never turned on during an emergency because they are never installed, and they are never updated. This results in the emergency lighting system being completely ineffective in conditions where electricity is out for days and can lead to the rapid development of a fire in which all electrical power for lighting is cut off.
To avoid these kinds of disasters
the property management company will often install, retrofit, and upgrade all necessary electrical systems, including the power supply. Many buildings have their power supply; others rent their power from the city. In many cases, the buildings’ power supply must be run by an extension cord or series of extension cables. In these cases, it is not uncommon to need a complete overhaul of the power supply to get everything up to code. When this happens, it is time to contact an electrician supply company that can perform routine maintenance and replacements.