While BCS Electrics has been offering thermography as a service for some time now, we’ve noticed that insurers are increasingly asking about this relatively new technology before signing off Leeds’ developments as they near completion or refurbishment – especially in the commercial sector. In this blog we look at why thermography is taking centre stage and how facilities managers and building operators can get ahead of insurer requests.
Thermographic imaging involves the use of a specialist camera, which picks up light spectrums invisible to the naked eye. Using infrared radiation, the camera equipment produces an image which identifies hot spots in wall cavities, ceilings and floors. Where distribution boards, building management systems or data cabling might have loose connections or circuits are overloaded, thermographic imaging will highlight these potentially hazardous areas, which our skilled electrical contractors can then repair.
We’ve all heard tales of insurance companies wriggling out of paying compensation due to some loophole in the small print they’ve found, or thanks to something in the construction work which didn’t meet specification. If the problem is electrical, though, then it has the potential to become a serious risk to life, which is why as a commercial electrical contractor we are educating and talking to our customers about how and why thermography is a worthwhile investment.
When undertaking a thermographic survey, there is no need for physical contact with the installation being examined, allowing electrical circuits, components or equipment to be surveyed quickly and safely. It is likely that there will be either no, or minimal, disruption to business operations.
As part of the EICR, our electrical contractors arrange a time when demand on circuits is at peak usage. This is often during the morning, when the loads on circuits are at their heaviest and therefore when the most accurate thermographic reading can be obtained. Our assessment includes identifying potential electrical hot spots; and the equipment can be used to future-proof electrical infrastructure and performance. Our electricians then have the most accurate possible data, which enables us to recommend the safest maintenance solutions or services to prevent future problems.
Ultimately, the reason insurers covering Leeds’ developments are increasingly asking us to undertake thermal imaging is because the effect an industrial fire can have on a business is far-reaching, potentially devastating. Not only does it impact upon profits, operations and employee retention it will of course affect an organisation’s reputation.
More than 25% of fires are caused by electrical faults (Source: Health and Safety at Work, April 2018). According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), 2015 saw UK commercial fire claims approaching £800 million, while the financial impact to businesses from commercial fires was in excess of £7bn a year.
According to figures calculated by the Fire Safe Europe Association, despite advances in safety technology - such as smoke detectors - electrical faults still account for 4,000 deaths across Europe every year, 70,000 hospital admissions and property damage amounting to €126bn. So it’s really not surprising that electrical thermography is becoming a requirement for pragmatic insurance companies across Leeds’ developments and beyond. They are rightly seeing it as an essential part of any responsible company’s safeguarding strategy.
Contact our project management team to discuss booking a thermography assessment on 0113 235 0400.