Electrical Workers Registration Board and Energy Safety (a division of Work Safe) in their latest newsletter highlighted the importance of maintaining the safety of fluorescent and high intensity discharge light fittings, due to a number of fire-related incidents involving these fittings in commercial and industrial buildings in New Zealand.
They highlighted the importance of regular maintenance checks and assessments to prevent such incidents in the future. As a building owner in New Zealand, the responsibility of maintaining the building and scheduling routine electrical inspections lies with the owner of the property.
In the aim of sharing this with commercial/industrial building owners and with peers in the electrical industry, in Auckland and across New Zealand, here are some of the pointers that The Lighting Council New Zealand mentioned in their guidance based announcement about safely managing fluorescent and high intensity discharge luminaries.
All electrical appliances generate heat, creating a potential fire risk if they are not properly maintained, which is why these guidelines have been designed to ensure efficient operation of electrical appliances in New Zealand and to reduce the risk of failure.
- Most fluorescent and HID luminaires (with electromagnetic control gear) supplied and installed across New Zealand over the last 30 years contain replaceable power factor correction capacitors. Regular maintenance checks and replacement of aged components is vital to ensure safe and efficient operation of the luminaries. Lack of regular maintenance or failure to replace aged or damaged components, especially capacitors, reduces efficiency and performance and may create a risk of failure.
- It is recommended that commercial and industrial property owners in New Zealand properly service their fluorescent and HID luminaires:
- At least every 3 years, and whenever fluorescent tubes and HID lamps are replaced. Luminaires should be checked to ensure that there are no signs of ageing or damage in any of the components such as capacitors, ballasts, lamp holders and starters.
- Any capacitors, ballasts, lamp holders or starters showing signs of ageing should be replaced immediately.
- Capacitors have a life span of 5 to 10 years. They must be replaced within the 10 year period.
- It is important to keep a maintenance record of the components stating the dates they have been checked on, and the dates on which any of the components have been replaced.
- Any luminaires that are subject to high ambient or external heat will require more regular checking and maintenance. They should be checked at least every 6 months.
- Responsible commercial and industrial property owners and operators should have proper plans in place for periodic routine maintenance. While regular maintenance of fluorescent and HID light fittings does require a commitment from property owners, this delivers improved performance and better risk management.
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Jenco Electrical are Registered Master Electricians in Auckland, providing electrical services for all residential and commercial electrical needs.
Our team of electricians in Auckland can help you with general electrical maintenance, electrical repairs, full or partial rewires, new builds, switchboard installation and repair, kitchen and bathroom renovations and more.