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Neon Safety: Fire Safety

October 16, 2017 3 min read

Electrical items, such as neon signs, generally have a substantial amount of current running through it in order to power its operation, which is why you should always understand what risks exist should the worst occur and take preventative measures. Remember, electrical items do have the capacity to start fires if a fault develops or in the event of an accident. As such, neon sign safety in the home or at work should be of the utmost importance and there are a number of considerations that you should make to prevent the risk of a fire breaking out.

Fire Safety Risk Assessment

Well-made neon signs are generally really safe, but this doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t still be aware of any potential fire safety risks that can be associated with an electrical item. In reality, the typical power output of a neon sign is less than 100 watts of illumination, with some being less, so it should cause no real concern when it comes to fire safety risks. However, this is only based on the assumption that you have purchased a quality and well-made neon sign from a reputable supplier, but in the event that you haven’t, a fire safety risk assessment is essential. To assist you, here are a few points to consider:

  • Are there any potential fire hazards?
  • What are the potential fire hazards?
  • Who could be harmed by them?
  • How has the level of risk been established?
  • What precautions can be taken to control the risk?
  • How to act in the event of a fire?

 

While these are key points to remember and be aware of, sometimes there are different considerations you should make depending on what you will be using the sign for. Domestic or Commercial, for example?

Domestic

When looking to add a neon sign into your home, many of the safety precautions pertaining to fire safety risks may be redundant, since neon signs are generally quite safe to operate. In comparison, neon signs are no more dangerous than a typical household light bulb, and shouldn’t pose any real hazards to you. Well-made neon signs also come with open circuit protection, meaning that if the glass tubes break, then the current flowing through the circuit will be disconnected. However, while they are a popular addition to the home and are growing in trend, there are still some do’s and don’ts that you should be aware of:

Do’s

  • Keep out of reach of children
  • Keep away from flammable items
  • Seek professional advice when mounting

 

Don’ts

  • Cover the neon sign
  • Encase by yourself (unless supplied by manufacturer)
  • Place where it may be knocked over
  • Overload plug sockets
  • Modify your neon sign in any way

 

Commercial

When using a neon sign for commercial purposes, the considerations are slightly different as what they would be when using for domestic purposes. In the main, this is due to the fact that businesses are bound by law to conduct regular fire safety checks and assessments as part of their compliance with industry regulations. Generally speaking, though, neon signs are really safe to use and operate whether in the home or the workplace. However, you should cast some thought to where you want to place the neon sign, as storing it inside will mean that you’ll need to allocate a good amount of space to avoid any accidental damages. As such, here are a number of do’s and don’ts when using neon signs for commercial purposes:

Do’s

  • Keep out of reach of customers/employees to prevent damage to the sign
  • Conduct regular fire safety risk assessments
  • Seek professional help when mounting (especially for larger signs)
  • Ensure all legislation and IET Wiring Regulations are complied with

 

Don’ts

  • Install the neon components by yourself
  • Attempt to alter the sign in any way (change backboard/tubes etc.)
  • Place in a cluttered location
  • Overload plug sockets

 

Summary

To summarise, when using for domestic purposes, while there is little risk posed to fire or electricity, you should ensure to keep it out of reach of children or pets to avoid damages. When using for commercial purposes, whether there is any risk posed or not, any electrical item should fully comply with fire and electrical regulations and ensure regular fire safety risk assessments are made.


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