Beware small and furry hazards, warns Intersafe

Tags: PAT Testing and Fixed Wire Testing,
Date: Thu 16 Jun 2016

Mice, rats, wasps and other small creatures can burrow behind electrical sockets and other fittings.

Everyone knows that everyday wear and tear can cause damage to electrical items in the workplace. Fixed and PAT testing by companies such as Intersafe ;regularly ;finds faults created by people forcing appliances into sockets or twisting them as they unplug them.

But this month Intersafe is warning facilities managers and company directors about a far less frequently thought-of hazard to workplace electrics...animals.

Mice, rats, wasps and other small creatures can burrow behind electrical sockets and other fittings causing a flurry of fails on a company's electrical test results or even a short on the electrical system, warns Intersafe Director Adrian Pendle.

"Recently, some wasps found their way into the back of a socket outlet, then expired and dried out, which created a source of fuel for any spark that may have been generated by a loose connection," he said."Mice have been known to nest in the warm and dry cavities next to the electrical wiring - creating a potential fire hazard ;and rats can cause havoc if they gnaw through the wiring."

Adrian warns that inanimate objects, such as books and box files, can also cause a fire if left carelessly on top of an electrical heat source, for example, a light fitting.

"Be vigilant at all times, look out for any loose openings around electrical sockets or telltale signs such as animal droppings or flying insects swarming into a crack or a hole in a wall," he suggested. "If you suspect you have unwelcome visitors of the animal variety in your workplace call pest control immediately - they can damage a lot more than carpets!"