With winter well underway, plenty of commercial properties face the unpleasant realities of the safety hazards presented by cold snaps and unpredictable weather variables. From ice storms to blizzards and even the immense strain caused by freeze-thaw cycles, poor electrical engineering can result in serious issues and safety hazards for businesses and multi-residential complexes. At KD Electrical, we know how important it is to focus on prevention and to set your build-up for success by accounting for common risks and building reliable electrical systems from day one. In partnership with the Krahn Group of Companies (KGC), we’re proud to offer extensive electrical consultation services for all aspects of property development and retrofitting across Western Canada.
Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common causes of electrical issues during the colder months and why partnering with an experienced team like KD Electrical can help you avoid the shock of repair headaches before they have the chance to start. Read on to learn more!
What Makes Winter So Challenging?
Most Canadians already know that the winter months can be particularly brutal to handle. Fluctuating and subzero temperatures can do a number on any structure, and electrical usage typically increases significantly during the colder seasons. All of these factors can significantly strain your building, and without the proper electrical solutions in place, you can face the risk of electrical fires and long-term damage. Three common culprits for winter and spring damage include:
As mentioned above, power usage is typically much higher during winter, especially for buildings with multiple tenants/residents. Plugging in vehicles, using space heaters, leaving lights on longer due to shorter sunlight hours, holiday decorations, and other variables put your electrical systems in high demand. If you don’t have the right relays and breakers in place, you’ll likely experience breaker trips, poor performance, and potentially sparking from severely over-run systems. If you’re in an older building or running older equipment (more on that in a moment), your systems may not be up to the needs of modern applications. If you’re in the process of developing plans for a new build, you need to take such occurrences into account, and if you’re in an older building, for everyone’s safety and code compliance, it’s best to take a look at retrofitting outdated materials and wiring before problems arise.
Cold weather can put municipal power grids through the wringer, and while commercial properties can do little to prevent the loss of power on a mass scale, you can be prepared to minimize your damages in the event one occurs. Facilities that utilize cold storage or rely on electrical systems to maintain ambient conditions require consistent access to servers and other electric-run assets, and factories that rely on access to power for operations should always stay one step ahead with a vetted secondary power/generator system.
If you’re unsure what solutions would be best for your specific applications, will partner with your team to determine what systems and revisions can help you stay protected when it matters most!
Old Buildings/Old Equipment
Outdated equipment and poorly upkept buildings can present a significant risk to occupants during the winter months if they’re not up to handling the increased demands business face during the winter. When working with your electrical engineering team during the initial design process for a new build or retrofitting, one of the best ways to protect yourself is to make sure you find out the projected lifespan of your equipment, as well as a general idea of when your electrical systems may need to be reevaluated. While you can often make older assets “work”, it’s important to be aware that everything has an expiry date, and over-leveraging your systems or equipment past this point is a recipe for disaster.
How Can I Prevent Winter Electrical Failures?
When it comes to preventing serious electrical issues at your property, maintaining a proactive position is always ideal. KD Electrical is here to help you evaluate your existing properties, as well as consult for future builds to make sure you’re able to avoid the common pitfalls that commercial properties across Canada face all winter long. With decades of experience behind our team, as well as access to the full spectrum of engineering and enhanced consultation services offered in partnership with KGC, KD Electrical’s services include:
- Interior + exterior lighting system design
- Electrical power service upgrades
- Fire alarm system design + verification
- Code analysis + electrical evaluations
- Backup systems
- Power distribution systems
- Electrical building condition assessment
- Computer and + Security systems
- Specification development and more!
Learn more about the benefits of working with KD Electrical Consulting as well as the Krahn Group of Companies by contacting our team today.
Looking to join a team built to excel? The Krahn Group of Companies is hiring across all locations and disciplines. Learn more here!