“Lesser Known Safety Tips for Commercial Wiring Projects”

Lesser Known Safety Tips for Commercial Wiring Projects


As an electrician working on commercial wiring projects, safety should always be your top priority. While there are many common safety practices that electricians follow, there are also some lesser known tips that can further reduce risks. In this article, I will share some of the most important safety tips that are not as widely discussed for commercial electrical work. Proper planning, using the right techniques, and staying alert can go a long way in preventing injuries and accidents.

Carefully Plan the Electrical Load

When taking on a commercial wiring project, one of the first things I do is carefully calculate the electrical load requirements. This involves determining the total wattage needed to power all equipment and devices that will be connected to the circuit. Some key factors to consider are:

Accurately estimating the electrical load ensures the circuit and overcurrent protection are sized correctly. Undersizing can lead to tripped breakers, damage to wires from overheating, and potential fires. Oversizing wastes money on larger wires than needed.

Use Appropriate Wire Sizing

Choosing the proper wire size for the expected electrical load and length of the circuit run is critical. The National Electrical Code (NEC) specifies the correct wire gauge based on ampacity ratings. Some tips when selecting wire size:

Following NEC guidelines and using thicker wires than the bare minimum helps reduce safety risks.

Employ Arc Flash Prevention Techniques

Arc flash accidents from short circuits can cause severe injuries. To minimize dangers:

Planning ahead and using proper procedures greatly improves arc flash safety on commercial electrical jobs.

Use Extra Caution with Aluminum Wiring

While copper wiring is ideal, aluminum may be used to save on material costs. But aluminum wiring requires special handling:

Improper connections with aluminum wiring can lead to overheating and fires.

Inspect for Damage Frequently

During the course of a large commercial wiring project, wires and components can inadvertently get damaged. Make it standard practice to inspect for:

Fixing damage immediately could prevent a safety incident. Don't take shortcuts.

Stay Vigilant When Working Live

Sometimes live electrical work is unavoidable. When it can't be avoided:

Working "hot" is extremely hazardous and should only be done when absolutely necessary.


By keeping these less obvious safety tips in mind on top of standard procedures, commercial electrical contractors can promote a culture of safety. Taking the time to properly plan, prepare the work site, use quality components, and stay focused ultimately protects yourself, co-workers, occupants, and the client's property. Safety pays in the long run.