Electrical Warning Signs That You Should Pay Attention To

There are many things that can go wrong with a church over time…

…the electrics are usually the main offenders in 20th Century builds.

It can be easy to overlook the deteriorating state of your church’s electrical infrastructure. After all, unless there are obvious risk like loose wires or flickering lights, you might not be aware that you even have a problem. Unfortunately, there are plenty of examples of religious buildings that are simply shut down after failing a basic electrical inspection.

There are a whole range of different risks that faulty or aged electrical wiring can cause your building. Just the smallest error made by the original electricians, decades ago, could potentially put your congregation and other church users at risk. Of course, the level of degradation of your wiring depends on when your church was built – if you’re in any doubt as to the state of your church electrics then you should consider calling a registered electrician in to fully test and asses your church.

Here are just a few of the warning signs you should look out for that could suggest that your church’s electrics need inspecting:

Constantly tripping circuit board

Is power constantly being cut in your church? Do you find that your priest is constantly running to the back to reset the circuit breaker? If so, there could be a chance that you have a serious problem with your church’s electrics. It might well be that you simply have too many appliances running though the circuit at one point, however it could also indicate that you have a short circuit somewhere in the building – if in doubt, get it checked.

Sparking sockets/breakers

Electricity is a powerful element that can cause serious harm, if you see a spark then you should contact an electrician immediately. There are many reasons why sparks could be coming from your sockets or breakers, it could be that an ac to dc power supply needs to be installed to control the flow of electricity from the National Grid. It could also suggest that your appliances are broken or in need of replacement, get everything checked out if in doubt.

Burning smells or smoke

If you ever detect an acrid burning smell or see white smoke appear when you turn on a light or an appliance, then you should immediately turn off/unplug the offending light or appliance at the mains. Electrical fires can often start without any kind of warning, so it’s important to act quickly and call an electrician to inspect the entire place.

Wiring hidden in walls or under floor boards can can slowly heat and degrade over time which can lead to a serious fire risk – this is why it’s important to check your electrics on an annual basis.

Failing to get your church’s electrics tested regularly is a negligent action which could potentially harm your congregation.

Never take a risk – always err on the side of caution.

Taking Heed: Working on Hallowed Grounds

Getting renovation work completed on holy grounds can be tricky at times…

…you never know how your actions as a workman, might be perceived by others, making working on a religious site potentially a great deal more hazardous than your average construction site.

Us workmen can often be a coarse bunch. We don’t care too much whether we offend others, we can be loud and (sometimes) a little insensitive. In a usual construction site environment these qualities would not necessarily be an issue. However, as soon as we step into a religious environment, the smallest of off-hand comments has the potential to cause a huge amount of offence and even create an impassable rift between the client (the church and congregation) and your own outfit.

With this in mind, we’ve collected together a few of the pitfalls that have the potential of causing such interpersonal problems between workmen and religious folk. Some of these issues are easily avoidable, whereas others might require a bit of careful training with your men:

Paying respect to the worshippers

This may seem like a pretty basic rule, but you’d be surprised how many workmen make this mistake, often on the first day on-site. Now, we’re certainly not trying to suggest here that religious people are more easily offended than non-religious people, however it doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to figure out that those with a more regimented moral system are more likely to be offended by a demographic of people that (sometimes) pride themselves on their lack of political correctness.

Completing work quickly and effectively

It goes without saying that a good construction outfit will finish their work in a timely and orderly fashion, however the need for haste is even greater when working in a religious setting because of the level of demand that the building is under. Just think of all the events that take place in a church: christenings, weddings, regular services and we’re not even considering community activities. In order to minimise disruption to the community, it’s imperative that work is completed as quickly as possible.

Retaining the spirit of the building

When making important, irrevocable changes to a religious building it’s really important to consider the overall spirit of the building. Many churches exist unchanged for decades, or sometimes even centuries, making a radical aesthetic change might well create problems with the congregation, so it’s always a good idea to sound out your ideas with the priest as well as members of the Church committee. This group of people will have the best interests of the congregation at heart and should have an understanding of what the congregation would appreciate and what they would dislike.

Areas that are off-limits

Finally, rules concerning where members of the public (including work men) are allowed to go to will vary from church to church. Before you start any work on a new religious site it’s a good idea to have a sit-down discussion with the church elders as to where you and your men will be allowed to go and where is strictly off-limits. By doing this at the start of the process you can find a way of avoiding any embarrassing situations later on and you’ll also have the opportunity to raise potential logistical issues which may cause trouble down the line.