Don’t Let Your Business Get Shocked: Electrical Issues in Commercial Properties 

Written by: Commercial Real Estate Inspectors, LLC

When investing in a business, one of the most important things to do is have the building inspected by a certified commercial property inspector to ensure that there are no underlying issues.

Why Electrical Safety Matters in Commercial Buildings 

Electrical safety can cause hazards within the workplace regardless of the type of business. Having electric faults in the building can cause a plethora of issues that could cause severe accidents or even result in death. 

Common Electrical Problems in Commercial Properties 

While there can be an endless number of electrical issues within buildings, some signs to look out for include outdated wiring, overloaded circs, faulty outlets, damaged electrical panels, and even grounding problems. Any of these underlying issues can put your entire business at risk.

Outdated Wiring 

Outdated wiring can be a serious fire hazard and can also increase the risk of electrical shock and electrocution. This could include frayed wires, outdated circuit breakers, and inadequate grounding. Wiring materials degrade over time and will eventually need replacing. 

Some signs that your wiring may be outdated are flickering lights, frequent power outages and electrical shock. 

Overloaded Circuits 

Circuit breakers are designed to be a safety system ensuring that electricity does not flow to an open circuit. When the circuits are overloaded, it halts all power usage, disconnecting from everything it was previously powering.

Some causes of this are too many devices being plugged in, voltage spikes, even loose or corroded wires and connections.  

Flickering Lights 

Flickering lights can be a small and relatively easy issue to fix. If you notice flickering lights, it is typically a loose or burnt-out light bulb. If you tighten or replace the bulb and the flickering continues, you may have a more serious underlying issue. When left unrepaired, electrical sparks can cause irreversible damage to the entire electrical system. 

Faulty Outlets 

Faulty outlets are a fire hazard that needs to be repaired as quickly as possible. 

Some signs of a faulty outlet are burn marks on the outlet or the wall surrounding the outlet, smoke or a burning smell originating at or near the outlet, loose plugs, the outlet is hot to the touch, constant blown fuses, or if a GFCI doesn’t turn off when the test button is pressed. 

Damaged Electrical Panels 

Damaged electrical panels can be a serious fire hazard, as it controls the flow of electricity to the entire building. If breakers continuously trip, the panel feels warm, there is visible scorching, a buzzing sound at the panel, or notice sparking at or inside the panel, calling an experienced electrician is the next step.

Grounding Problems 

Grounds provide a low resistance path for excess electricity to flow to the ground safely. This prevents electrical shock, injury, and possible death. 

When done incorrectly, all of those become risks to a potential starting an electrical fire. 

How to Prevent Electrical Problems in Your Commercial Properties 

Some simple ways of preventing electrical problems are:

  • Visibly inspect all sources of electricity to ensure that they are working properly.
  • If you notice any blinking lights make sure the bulb is tight and not blown.
  • Do not overload outlets or circuits and upgrade circuits as needed. 
  • Utilize surge protectors to mitigate the risk of a fire within your property. 

Lastly, if you identify any electrical issue that you are not certified to fix, contact a certified electrician.  

When to Call a Commercial Property Lawyer 

If you suspect, there may have been improper or inadequate inspections done on your property, contact a commercial property lawyer to determine the steps needed to protect the future of your property.

Contact Us 

Contact Commercial Real Estate Inspectors for all of your inspection needs. Our team is composed of professionals who pride themselves on accuracy when conducting inspections. Our experience includes inspecting hotels, schools, apartment buildings, hospitals, offices, shopping centers and many more. Request a free quote to protect your commercial properties.

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