Font Size

- Aa +

Sun 2 Mar 2008 04:00 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Electrical safety concerns

With the 2008 Middle East Electricity exhibition held in Dubai during February it perhaps should come as no surprise that the demands of electrical systems have been high on the agenda this month. But the worrying thing is that not all of the news relating to the sector has been good.

With the 2008 Middle East Electricity exhibition held in Dubai during February it perhaps should come as no surprise that the demands of electrical systems have been high on the agenda this month. But the worrying thing is that not all of the news relating to the sector has been good.

While the number of company expansions and new technology launches made during the past month should be welcomed by all operating in the electrical sector as potentially beneficial for future projects, there are warnings that should also be heeded. Build Safe Dubai is one organisation that has stepped forward to provide industry guidance.

The organisation has highlighted the dangers that can occur in households due to faulty wiring and the poor maintenance of electrical goods and services. As resolving issues after occupation of a premises often becomes impossible without being requested from the homeowner, the onus is on all in the electrical sector to ensure that such systems are designed and installed to as high a standard as possible at the build stage. By doing this, the chances of injuries due to electrical shock or fires will be greatly reduced.

However, as the British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC) chief executive Jeremy Hodge warned, the demands of construction projects both locally and internationally are also having a negative impact on such issues. Hodge reports that the quality of cabling now being used on certain projects around the world is not up to accepted international standards, so could thus reduce any safety measures that are taken in the design and installation stages.

What's the reason behind the willingness to use such products? Supply and demand. It's now well accepted that there is a worldwide shortage of certain products due to the global construction boom and cabling is one of those in question. With tight project schedules to maintain it is perhaps no surprise that those manufacturers that are offering lower grade products are finding a place in the market. As contractors seeking to meet deadlines find their ideal, high quality products out of stock or on very long lead-times, it's not hard to see the temptation to use whatever is available to get the job done on time.

But such a step could mean creating a whole host of problems for the future. Much of this cabling can be easily damaged during installation, meaning when the commissioning tests are carried out the system may fail. The cost and time that would then be needed to remove and replace such cabling can be vast and such events can also be greatly damaging to a firm's reputation. The message from both BASEC and cabling manufacturers is plan ahead and order early. By doing so, the need for non-standard products will be removed and the overall safety of all electrical installations will increase.

For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.