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Tricks Of The Trade: Water In The Lights

Written by Retired Columnist. Posted in Ask The Expert, Columnists, Magazine, Retired Columnists, Topics, Tricks of the Trade

Published on February 27, 2008 with No Comments

By James C. Elledge, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMA, RPA, RIAQM
Published in the February 2008 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

QWhat would you recommend when the roof leaks through theceiling and into the fluorescent light fixture in an office? Is it safefor employees to continuing working in the space with the light on?

Name withheld upon request

A I would have the ballast de-energized (or at the very least, have thebulbs removed). Water and electricity, especially higher voltages forfluorescents, do not mix.

Furthermore, anyone attempting tofix the problem should wear the proper safety gear when trying tointerrupt the current flow. Under these circumstances, it’s especiallyimportant to avoid sparks, or other unwanted surprises.

Ifsomeone was not aware of the leak and was working on the ceiling grid,he or she might personally experience the potential for shock—or worse.

Elledge,facility/office services manager for Dallas, TX-based Summit AllianceCompanies, is the recipient of the Distinguished Author Award from theInternational Facility Management Association (IFMA), is an IFMA Fellow, and isa member of TFM’sEditorial Advisory Board. All questions have been submitted via the “Ask TheExpert” portion of the magazine’s Web site. To pose a question, visit this link.

About Retired Columnist

This expert formerly served as regular contributor to Today’s Facility Manager magazine. His vast knowledge of the facility management profession continues to provide a rich resource for facility managers by way of this online archive.

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