As with residential buildings, commercial buildings have a sort of hierarchy of systems that are of varying importance to their daily operation. Having the heater or air conditioner break down might be an inconvenience, but it will rarely be more of an issue than that. Losing the water heater might be a bit more of an issue, depending on the building.
Regardless of what commercial property you’re talking about, though, electrical issues are not to be underestimated. At best, an electrical issue can disable part of your building for however long it takes to get it fixed. At worst, it can start a fire or pose an electrocution risk. You really don’t want an electrical issue to go unchecked any longer than it has to. That’s why we’ve noted some easy ways to tell if your commercial electrical system is in need of repairs.
Unusual Circuit Breaker Activity
Commercial circuits are designed to handle a much greater electrical load than residential circuits, which makes commercial circuit breakers a lot less likely to trip during daily operations. This, of course, depends entirely on the building and what it does. Still, no matter what kind of work is going on in your commercial building, you should have your circuit breaker tripping on a regular basis. If one of the circuits on your system won’t reset, or it does and it just keeps tripping again, it could be because of a serious electrical issue. Make sure that you call an electrician if your circuit breaker isn’t behaving normally.
One of the most dangerous electrical issues is short-circuiting in the wiring. This often occurs with old wires, where the insulation wears away and wires become exposed. If a wire is touching a beam or some drywall, it can start heating up the area by venting a current into it. This is a serious fire risk. If there are any unusually warm or hot spots on the walls in your building, it might be a good idea to have a professional electrician check the system. This sign especially applies to light switches, although it should be noted that dimmer switches are typically warmer than normal regardless.
One flickering light is probably indicative of a short in the light itself, or even that the light bulb just isn’t screwed in all the way. Multiple flickering lights tends to mean that there’s an issue with the electrical system. You’ll need to have a professional check out the system for you to determine how serious the issue is, but it’s better to have it done sooner rather than later.
Burning or Acrid Smells
If an electrical issue does cause something to start burning in your building’s walls, the first sign you’re likely going to notice is the smell. Any kind of burning or acrid smell that could indicate a fire should be checked out immediately and thoroughly. Electrical fires can spread quite quickly, and the faster they’re dealt with the safer the building will be.