Electrical defects plague 1 in 7 public institutions
Energy and Water Ministry adds NIS 1m to budget of Electricity Administration to allow for increase supervisory.
electricity line old Photo: Marc Israel Sellem
One in seven public institutions have dangerous flaws in their electricity
systems, according to tests conducted by the Electricity Department of the
Energy and Water Ministry in 2012.
Throughout the last year, the
administration evaluated the electrical infrastructure at 2,811 public sites and
offices, including places like museums, entertainment centers, malls, hotels,
supermarkets, pharmacies, nursing homes, schools, high-rise buildings,
construction sites, agricultural sites, swimming pools, gas stations and public
As a result of the disturbing results of the test, the ministry
said it has decided to double the operational budget of the Electricity
Administration, adding about another NIS 1 million to the body’s finances to
allow for increased supervisory tests.
While the inspectors found
deficiencies in about 60 percent of the sites they visited, most of these were
However, they deemed 15% of them to have electricity glitches
ranging from “dangerous” to “very dangerous,” the ministry explained. Some such
hazardous abnormalities included faults in the electrical grounding systems,
defective installations of electrical accessories and problems in electricity
switchboards. In a certain group of sites – swimming pools, hotels, shopping
malls, construction sites and schools – the statistic was even worse, with more
than 20% of these institutions receiving dangerous evaluations.
findings indicates that the lack of awareness of safe electricity usage is
likely to cause death,” a ministry statement said.
According to the
Electricity Act, the head of the Electricity Administration can order the
cessation of operation at facilities with faulty electrical infrastructure until
the required fix occurs, the ministry explained.
In 2012, the
administration sent 400 warning letters to sites where hazardous defects were
discovered, as well as 109 letters to the Israel Electric Corporation ordering
electricity cutoffs, the ministry said. Some letter recipients immediately
corrected the deficiencies, while threats of blackouts pushed others to act
quickly. In practice, six customers have had their electricity turned
In response to the evaluations, the Energy and Water Ministry
recommended that all public institutions and buildings make sure to conduct
routine electrical safety testing through licensed electricians and remember
that while electricity is crucial, it can also be life threatening.