Electrical Safety in Schools
Electrical accidents might occur hardly ever in schools but this does not mean that they are exempted to have good quality electrical safety processes in place. Schools are a particular environment that deserves to get the best electrical safety. Throughout the whole process of learning and working in schools, electrical equipment and risks are incorporated. This and other factors are possible causes of electrical accidents. In today’s condition where almost everything is reliant on technology and electricity, it is important that electrical safety practices are habitually carried out to avoid dangers and establish protection of the lives of children and employees inside the school premises.
Common Electrical Dangers
One of the most common electrical incidents that can happen in any workplace including schools is the use of faulty electrical equipment which includes overloading and constant using of cords, plugs and power boards that are obviously damaged. Another one is the lack of maintenance of electrical equipment. Moreover, electrical works performed by unlicensed electricians are also a potential cause of electrical hazards.
Electrical risks should not be underestimated because the serious ones can cause death. The most ordinary electrical threats and causes of injury are electric shock, arcing, explosion or burns, a fire resulting from electrical fault and toxic gases released from burning materials caused by electrical fires. Electric shock can result in falls from ladders or injury from power tools. It can also lead to muscle spasms, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, and unconsciousness. Even the briefest contact with electricity can bring serious effect to a person’s health and safety.
The primary point in obtaining electrical safety is being knowledgeable of the most common electrical dangers that can take place on the site. Students and staff should have unrelenting education, appropriate skills and necessary training about these matters because even in the most cautious situations, worst things happen. Both teachers and students should be well-informed regarding the proper use of electrical equipment. Students should be conscious and responsive to the potential hazards of any electrical equipment before they are allowed to use them. Apparatus in science laboratories and computers should only be used by the students under the supervision of educators. Each use of equipment should be used following electrical safety standards.
It is vital that schools establish general safety measures for all of their electrical equipment. The electrical apparatus should only be used according to instructions and purpose. Casings and covers that are made to enclose electrical parts should be kept intact. Inappropriate items such as metal implements should never be inserted into any electrical equipment.
All electrical equipment in schools should undergo proper care and maintenance. They should be positioned in places where they are not likely to have damage or affected by water. Avoid overloading and use multi-outlet power boards instead of double adaptors. Also, do a customary visual inspection. Most electrical defects are noticeable to the naked eyes. Leads, plugs, and socket are the most common items that have visible damages such as cuts, cracks, and holes that expose conductors and other live parts. In addition, also look for burnt and melted areas, obstructed ventilation inlets and exhaust and deformed leads.
In addition, schools should abide strictly by government regulation concerning electrical safety. There are controlling laws applied to schools the same way with other organizations such as Electrical Safety Act and Electrical Safety Regulation and these should not be taken for granted. The school management together with the technician, governing bodies and local authorities should unite to implement strategies to guarantee utmost electrical safety. This covers the purchase of proper equipment; following general precautions of all electrical equipment; protecting particular electrical apparatus, and recording and notifying of any incidents. Governing bodies should make sure that the school management complies with the instructions in terms of safety. In the case where the schools fall short to do so, they have the authority to conduct and order repairs and maintenance which will be paid from the school’s funds.
Another important concern is the handling of electrical maintenance. Any sort of electrical repairs should be done by professionals. The school technician can handle general repairs and testing of electrical equipment. However, major electrical processes such as electrical circuits and installations should be handled by professional electricians. Never rely on electrical works be completed by unskilled electricians because the tendency is that they take shortcuts in doing the process which leaves the whole school at potential risk of electrical and fire accidents. And as part of the legal requirement, all electrical equipment should be inspected and tested regularly by professionals to avoid any risk of property damages that can harm students and staff.
One reliable electrical safety measure is testing and tagging of electrical equipment. This is done by hiring a competent professional to test electrical equipment to detect wear, damages and other conditions that put it at potential risks. The equipment must then be labeled if it complies with the test specifications. If any damages are made after tagging is done, the testing and tagging method is then rendered ineffective. In other words, the method only assesses the integrity of the item at the time of testing and do not provide any extra protection.
Electrical mishaps do not only concern fire dangers. Wires that are carelessly placed can cause students and staff to trip while frayed wires result to create dangerous shocks. Safe electrical means a safe school that is conducive not only to learning but to fun and well-being as well. Keeping best safe electrical practices, making students fully informed, recognizing early signs of dangers and trusting professional workers to do their job can help create an environment that focuses on its purpose. If you are looking for a qualified and safety conscious electrical contractor, give me a call; I’d be happy to quote on your project.