According to Fire and Rescue NSW, almost 40% of building fires are caused by electrical appliances and faults. A medical practice recently suffered this fate – their premises experienced $878,000 worth of damage after a fire tore through their offices. The cause? A faulty $10 power board purchased from a local hardware store.
To help minimise the risk of an electrical fire on your premises, consider these 10 helpful tips:
- Keep dust, moisture and clutter to a minimum – good housekeeping is essential for preventing fires.
- Ensure there’s sufficient ventilation around all electrical equipment to help prevent overheating, and switch off computers at the end of the business day.
- Avoid ‘piggy backing’ power points – a common cause of fire and equipment damage is an overload.
- Use safety switches – make sure your electrical switchboard and other key equipment is protected by residual current devices.
- Book a qualified electrician to conduct a thermographic scan – they’ll check your electrical switchboard to identify any faults or ‘hotspots’ that could be a fire waiting to happen.
- Test and tag all electrical equipment at least every 12 months – a qualified electrician can assist with this.
- Always follow manufacturer’s instructions for the installation, operation, storage, cleaning and maintenance of equipment. Obtain another copy of the manual if the original has been misplaced.
- Use equipment that’s approved in Australia – don’t be tempted to use cheaper parts or equipment that’s not approved for use here, it’s simply not worth the risk.
- Keep ‘pest control’ programs up-to-date. Rats and mice are good climbers and can easily chew through wires and cabling.
- Train staff in the correct use and maintenance of equipment. If they’re on the lookout for early warning signs of failure you may identify issues before they escalate.
If your business experienced a fire or another interruption event, how would you manage? Not only is there the damage bill and loss of revenue while you’re not operating, there’s the increased costs of remaining open for business, such as a temporary relocation. The good news is an insurance policy like MIGA Plus Business Insurance can help minimise disruption and get you back up and running as quickly as possible.
The MIGA Plus team are here to help and can provide advice on the needs of your business and arrange a competitive quote. Give them a call on 1800 835 808 or visit www.miga.com.au/business-insurance to find out more.