What is commercial electrical work?
Electrical work can be undertaken in many types of residential and commercial properties. If you are looking to hire an electrician, it’s essential that you use a professional who is suitably qualified, experienced and competent in carrying out the specific task required. Many electricians focus solely on domestic properties while others specialise in commercial electrical work, and the skills needed for each are not necessarily the same.
In this blog we’ll take a look at what exactly commercial electrical work is and how it differs from residential electrical work.
What is commercial electrical work?
Commercial electrical work covers the installation, testing and maintenance of electrical systems, circuits, lighting and equipment in buildings that are used for business purposes. This can include work in offices, factories, shops, restaurants, hotels, leisure facilities and warehouses. A commercial electrical contractor will undertake work in these types of buildings to ensure all electrical features are safe, efficient and compliant.
Commercial electricians can carry out a range of services, including:
• Design, installation and upgrade of electrical fittings, wiring and systems
• Design, installation and upgrade of lighting systems
• Design, installation and upgrade of data cabling
• Design, installation and upgrade of fire safety systems
• Maintenance and repair
• Distribution and safety of power
• Safety and risk assessments, and guidance
• Electrical installation certificates and condition reports
• Periodic inspection and testing
• Compliance with current legislation and best practice
• Interpretation of blueprints, plans, diagrams and symbols for all electrical aspects of a scheme
• Installation of sustainable and renewable energy systems such as solar power and rainwater harvesting
What’s the difference between commercial and residential electrical work?
The design process for a commercial property is likely to be more complicated than for a residential building. It will have specific requirements, probably cover a larger area and involve more complex systems than in a domestic property.
• Legal requirements
Commercial buildings are places where lots of people work, and employers must adhere to various laws and regulations surrounding electrical safety in the workplace. A qualified commercial electrician will be an expert in the requirements and compliance regarding electrical safety in the workplace.
Because of the specialist and more wide-ranging work that is required from a commercial electrical contractor, the cost of their services will be higher than that of a domestic electrician. However, the cost of unsafe electrical systems and non-compliance with electrical safety regulations and employment laws can be far greater.
• Complexity of work
Commercial buildings often contain complex equipment and machinery that require specific expertise for their installation, testing and maintenance. Wiring will be more complicated because of increased energy requirements and greater load distribution.
• Safety and workplace
The working environment is very different for a commercial electrician and a domestic one. Access may be more complicated than in a residential building and requires someone with specialist experience. Working in more complex, potentially larger buildings also carries an added element of risk that is not present in domestic work.
• More stringent qualifications and skills
To become a competent commercial electrical contractor requires additional training on top of the standard electrician qualifications. This is because specialist skills and knowledge of specific regulations and procedures are needed to carry out this type of work. Many commercial electricians will also be accredited by industry organisations.
DRF Electrical are a team of fully qualified and experienced commercial electrical contractors. We undertake all kinds of projects across a range of sectors but most often work with clients in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries. Contact us to find out more.