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 old370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
electricity line old370
(photo credit: 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 shelters.
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 low risk.
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.
“These 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 off.
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.