Burning electrical box

Jul 16, 2019
Hidden Hazards: Inspection List to Prevent Electrical Fires

{Sponsored} The combination of wet and dry environments in a greenhouse can create a perfect storm for electrical disasters. All equipment, especially electrical, is subject to wear and degradation in an area of likely exposure to wet conditions, warns the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association (NGMA). But electrical hazards can also occur from faulty installation, overloading or physical damage.

NGMA suggests the following tips to ensure a safe working environment and to minimize the risk of electrical fires damaging your crops.

Maintain a load schedule, which lists all equipment in your facility that requires electricity. Update it regularly, especially after new equipment is purchased, to ensure you have enough electrical service to power all equipment without overloading.

Adhere to the requirements listed in the National Electrical Code and any local or state codes. These mandatory rules are meant to keep your equipment and staff safe. Make sure to comply with all applicable codes.

Electrical equipment should be installed by qualified professionals. No one without a proper license or certification should ever do electrical work in your facility. It can be dangerous for the installer as well for your facility.

Keep a maintenance log or record of which electrical equipment has been serviced, when, by whom and when the next service should be. Schedule maintenance appointments in advance to avoid forgetting during busy production times. Remember to ask electricians to check all connections and outlets as well.

Check for any irregularities after turning on equipment. If electrical equipment does not function properly, makes an unusual noise, issues smokes or sparks, unplug it immediately and report the problem. Add a label or sign that notes a machine is out of order to prevent others from using faulty machinery.

Place fire extinguishers near combustibles and flammables. Train staff to know where fire extinguishers are located and how to use them properly. Ask your local fire department or fire extinguisher inspection company to inspect all extinguishers in your facility annually.

Regularly test alarm systems throughout your greenhouse and replace any defective alarms. Have emergency evacuation drills with staff so that they know what to do and where to go when they hear alarms go off. Post exit routes in prominent areas.

The National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association notes that “the National Electrical Code (NEC), which regulates electrical wiring has begun to require ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) in more and more locations; particularly in damp locations in contact with earth or concrete.” A GFCI is a safety device, typically built into an electrical outlet, that protects people from possible electric shock hazards.

For more on electrical safety and insurance, visit www.hortica.com or contact a Hortica® insurance agent.

Hortica® property and casualty coverages are underwritten, and loss control services are provided, by Florists’ Mutual Insurance Company, Florists’ Insurance Company, and Florists’ Insurance Service, Inc., Edwardsville, IL, members of the Sentry Insurance Group. For more information, visit hortica.com. Policies, coverages, benefits and discounts are not available in all states. See policy for complete coverage details.


This document is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. No one should act on the information contained in this document without advice from a local professional with relevant expertise.


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© 2019 Hortica



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