NZI is helping businesses manage and mitigate electrical safety and lower the risk of commercial fires.

The group’s electrical safety inspectors, Toby Lancaster and Zak Dean, are working to identify customers’ electrical hazards, which are known to be key contributors to commercial fires. 

NZI says the initiative is an industry-first. The group’s electrical assessment team visited 300 customers last year, identifying “serious defects” at 20% of sites, which could have led to fires and business interruption.

“I’m incredibly proud of the stories behind these stats,” said Garry Taylor, EGM of NZI.

“One customer story that tugs at the heartstrings was a recently renovated dance studio in Auckland. 

“When our team visited there were 20-30 young children inside having dance lessons. The inspector could smell something suspicious, and thermal imaging revealed the timber behind the switchboard was heating up and there was no doubt an electrical fire was imminent”

“The business owner was on-site and notified the property manager, an electrician was dispatched that afternoon, and the problem was rectified – needless to say the children vacated the building out of precaution,” Taylor added. 

“The owner was incredibly relieved once the electrician had fixed the issue, and our team is satisfied the customer now has peace of mind for their business. 

“I’m thrilled with how our electrical Inspectors are helping our customers stay in business, and making their world a safer place, by reducing distress and inconvenience should they suffer a loss that could have been avoided.” 

The insurer shared its top tips to help mitigate electrical fire hazards:

•    Put a regular electrical maintenance plan in place and visually check your electrical switchboard, cables, light fittings regularly. 

•    Ask your broker to book an appointment with one of NZI's Electrical Inspectors who are trained experts in identifying common electrical hazards.

•    Don’t overload your electrical outlets. 

•    Turn off appliances, machinery and electronics when not in use.

•    Install adequate smoke detectors and have fire extinguishers readily available.

•    If you notice any strange smells coming from any appliance/switchboard, call a certified electrician immediately. 

December 2023