Office Electrical Safety

What Are The Hazards? Fire and Electrocution are the two main hazards associated with Office Electrical Safety. Overloaded circuits can also cause power loss, work interruptions, and loss of productivity. A “rats nest” of tangled electrical cords not only creates a fire hazard but also a personal injury risk from slips / trips / falls. Many personal offices, cubicles, and work areas are not set up to handle the additional electrical load from items such as space heaters, fans, coffee makers, and printers.

  • NEVER “daisy chain” powerstrips and extension cords.
  • Always check for damaged cords and replace if necessary.
  • Do not run cords across walkways and door. They may cause tripping hazards.
  • Do not overload circuits with too many plugs.
  • Never pull a plug out by the cord always grip it firmly at the base.
  • Keep all cords away from extreme heat of fires.
  • Never touch an exposed electrical wire.
  • Be sure there is no water leaking on or near electronic devices.

Do the Math

If you are going to use extension cords, power strips, or surge protectors with two or more appliances, you must add together the wattage rating for all appliances used on the cord. Add up all the power requirements. This total should not exceed 80 percent of the rated capacity of the extension cord, power strip, or surge protector you are using.

  • Hair dryer 1,600 Portable heater 1,500
  • Vacuum cleaner 600 Portable fan 150
  • Television 150 Hot Plate 1,200
  • Light bulbs 40, 60, 75, or 100 Coffee Pot 1,200

Check with your maintenance or facility manager to be sure it is safe and acceptable to connect accessory devices and equipment in your work area.

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