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You have heard about businesses burning down from fires sparked
by electrical shorts and tragic injuries caused by electrocution.
But did you ever think one of these could happen to your business?
Have you recently remodeled your building? Have you purchased
and installed new equipment? Have you purchased a building not
originally designed for an automotive recycling business? If you
answer “yes” to any of these questions, you are at
risk for potential electrical hazards that could cause a fire
loss or serious injury. The primary hazards of electricity and
its use are arc, spark, flash, and shorting out, which may result
in electrocution, electrical burns, shock, explosions and fires.
You should have your facility’s electrical system (wiring,
conduit, junction boxes, receptacles, circuit breakers, etc.)
inspected by a professional electrical contractor regularly to
ensure it is in good operational condition. Every time you purchase
and install new equipment, your electrical contractor should evaluate
the equipment’s electrical power demands and install it
to your existing electrical system according to local and national
The following are additional general safe practices to follow:
General Safe Practices
•Wiring that is 25 years or older should
be inspected by a licensed, qualified electrical contractor.
•Keep power cords away from the path of drills, lathes,
grinders and saws.
•Do not carry plugged-in equipment or tools with your finger
on the switch.
•Turn the tool or equipment OFF before plugging in or unplugging.
•Do not leave tools that are ON unattended.
•Do not handle or operate electrical tools or equipment
when your hands are wet or when you are standing on wet floors.
•Do not operate spark-inducing tools or equipment, such
as grinders or drills, near containers labeled “flammable”
or in an explosive atmosphere, such as a spray paint booth.
•Turn off electrical tools/equipment and disconnect the
power source from the outlet before attempting repairs or service
work. Tag the tool/equipment “out of service.”
•Do not use extension cords or other grounded, three-pronged
power tools that have the ground prong removed or broken off.
•Do not use an adapter that eliminates the grounding prong
such as a cheater plug.
•Do not connect multiple electrical tools into a single
outlet, and do not overload outlet boxes.
•Do not stand in water or on wet surfaces when operating
power hand tools or portable electrical appliances.
•Do not use power hand tools while wearing wet cotton or
•Exposed wiring and cords that are frayed, cut, kinked or
have deteriorated insulation should be repaired or taken out of
service and replaced.
•Electrical enclosures such as switches, receptacles and
junction boxes should be provided with tight-fitting covers (plates,
doors). Covers should remain closed at all times when the enclosure
is not in use.
•Before any repair work or inspection of a piece of electrical
equipment is begun by a qualified person, the current should be
turned off at the switch and the switch padlocked in the OFF position.
•Electrical outlets in wet areas (exterior outlets, etc.)
must be equipped with ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)
to protect against electrical shock.
•Make sure circuit breakers are clearly labeled.
•Make sure the electrical room is clearly identified and
free of combustible material and debris.
•The use of personal heaters or fans should not be allowed.
•Office coffee pots, etc., should have an automatic shut-off.
•All lighting fixtures should be securely and permanently
Any electrical installation, service and repair should be performed
by a qualified, licensed electrician in accordance with National
Electrical Code standards.
For information about how Universal Underwriters
Group’s Special Account Services Division can help meet the special
needs of your automotive recycling business, call 1-800-840-8842, ext.
4845, visit our website at www.UniversalUnderwriters.com
or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is provided for informational
purposes only. Please consult with qualified legal counsel to address
your particular circumstances and needs. Universal Underwriters Group
is not providing legal advice and assumes no liability concerning the
information set forth above.