“Be Prepared.” It’s more than a motto. It’s key to Risk Management, and now necessary for compliance with 2015 NFPA 70E. More importantly, it’s what we need to do to prevent electrical system failures and accidents.
Prevention starts with a systems approach to electrical system maintenance…maintenance that is on-going (with continuous improvement) and not an Every Ten Year project.
Stage One in electrical prevention maintenance is an infrared analysis of the electrical system. During this non-destructive, low cost process, technicians use specialized infrared (IR) cameras to detect thermal hot spots and predict possible electrical equipment in failure mode.
But knowing where the hot spots are is not enough. You need to correct these potential hazards before the affected equipment fails or, even worse, causes an electrical accident or fire.
Finding a company to do an IR study is easy. Plenty of electrical maintenance companies do IR reports. But you need more than just a report. You need a company with expertise, one that does more than just IR. You want a company with proficiency in testing and with the ability to both diagnose repairs and perform those needed repairs.
You also need an electrical maintenance company that delivers documentation on the condition of overcurrent protection (breakers, fuses, relays) to ensure the components operate as the manufacturers intended. (This is information now needed for electrical risk assessment for energized work, NFPA 70E 2015 Article 205.)
A company with this level of expertise gives you the systems approach to your maintenance you should have and can save you thousands of dollars.
The Perfect Electrical Prevention Partner
Find a company that understands power quality and electrical system analysis as well as:
- Uses qualified staffing for safe removal of panel/switchgear cover.
- Takes equipment photographs and matches those photographs with corresponding IR images.
- Conducts NETA & NFPA 70B electrical testing.
- Breaks down KV, kVAR, PF, voltage, amperage, harmonics, and transients.
- Tests and quantifies results.
- Documents field data with software application for future trending.
- Identifies code violations, safety issues (P1, P2, P3 priority)
- Is agnostic on products.
- Has engineer oversite to recommend solutions or corrections outlined in report.
Finally, before partnering with any electrical system maintenance company, check for proper credentials. Ask if the company’s personnel doing the system audits are “qualified” licensed electricians or technicians; if they are current on the most recent NFPA 70E standard; and if their personnel include NFPA 70E trained experts, licensed PE’s, CEM’s, CDSM’s, and CxA, NETA technicians, NICET technicians, Level 1, 2, 3 FLIR technicians, and environmental and health safety experts.