Electricity is a wonderful thing. It has completely transformed the way we live and work, and for a vast majority of the global population, this has increased the quality of life. Every time we plug something in and turn it on, we’re benefitting from electricity, but do we appreciate just how dangerous electricity can be?
Effectively, electricity is a surge of power. When it is under control, it is this surge that makes electrical appliances work. But what happens when the surge is out of control and your power spikes? If you don’t have the proper measures in place, a power spike can do a considerable amount of damage, from ruining your appliances to causing electric shocks.
So, here are some pointers on protecting your appliances and employees from power surges.
Install a Good Safety Switch and Have It Checked Regularly
Safety switches are your chief means of protection from power imbalances. A safety switch is designed to pick up on any electrical malfunctions and cut the power before any damage occurs. The best part of a safety switch is that they protect all of your appliances, as well as any power boards or fixed wiring.
Electrical malfunctions can occur in an instant; a safety switch will pick up on any imbalances and cut all power within 20 milliseconds.
By law, all business must be fitted with safety switches. However, merely having a safety switch installed is not enough. Like everything, switches can be faulty, so it’s essential that they are checked on a regular basis. Getting your switches checked should be an essential part of any workplace electrical safety plan.
You should also have your safety switch checked to ensure they can protect against the joules that run through your workplace.
While safety switches are essential in creating an electrically safe workplace, they won’t provide adequate protection for your appliances against a power surge.
Testing and Tagging is Vital
Faulty and poorly maintained appliances can create power spikes. The best way to keep your devices in good condition is to engage the services of a respected test and tag provider.
A test and tag service will conduct a series of tests on all of your appliances and power boards to ensure they are in good working order. Testing and tagging is also a critical way for employers to show that they are providing their employees with a safe workspace.
What to Look for In a Surge Protector
The first thing you need to look for in surge protectors is the level of protection. If your workplace is in a built-up area, you won’t require as much protection as if your workplace is located somewhere more isolated. Generally, you should opt for 2,000 volt ratings in the city, and 4,000 volts in the country.
You also need to choose a unit that lets you know when it’s working. So, only pick surge protectors that have a protection light status and a failsafe, which will shut the unit off if the surge protection fails.
If you need to connect lots of devices to the surge protector, make sure you choose an eight-socket protector. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy multiple protectors, which can become expensive.
You also need to recognise the difference between surge protectors and power strips. You may have heard of power strips, but these are entirely different to surge protectors. Power strips are just an expanded power board, and while they have a circuit breaker, they won’t offer any protection in the event of a power surge.
Check the Warranties on Your Surge Protector
Most protectors will offer a warranty on the items they are supposed to protect. You should check this warranty to make sure it provides the type of protection you need. For example, if your protector only has a warranty for $300,000 and you need it to protect an entire factory, you may want to invest in a higher-quality surge protector.
Be Wary of Overseas Appliances
Different countries have different voltages (v). For example, the standard in America is 110v while in Australia it is 230v. This means that plugging in American appliances, even with a plug converter, may cause issues with your electrical balance.
If you combine safety switch testing, testing and tagging and surge protectors, you’ll have a completely safe workplace, and your appliances will be protected from any electrical imbalances or power surges.