An electrical room is a room in a building designated for containing the building's electrical equipment. This electric power distribution center is normally located in an industrial building, though it can also be found in residential areas. People who have mistakenly wandered off an elevator in the basement of a hospital or business may have encountered an electrical room.
Typically, electrical rooms are sized in proportion with their buildings; hence, a larger building may house a large room, while smaller buildings contain smaller electrical rooms. Buildings that are extremely large and require enormous amounts of power may even contain a main electrical room that branches off into smaller rooms. In many cases, the room is marked with an sign in order to assist service people in maintaining the building. These signs are also important to display in order to prevent people who don't belong in the room from wandering in and possibly harming themselves; in many buildings the door will be locked at all times.
The design of an electrical room is typically very linear and clean, and must meet the local building and electrical safety codes during and after construction. Most electrical rooms feature wide, open aisles or walkways, with the actual electrical equipment fastened safely to the walls. The area should ideally be well lit to allow the best access to the electrical system controls. Fire resistant mechanisms are often placed in the rooms to provide maximum safety as well.
Power from the local power plant typically flows into the electrical room via utility wires and into circuit breaker, or fuse, boxes, which may also vary in size. These are normally controlled by switches that can be turned on or off according to the building's needs. Depending upon the number of rooms and the size of a building, the electrical room may contain one or many breaker boxes. These are normally kept clear of debris in order to allow service people or business owners easy access to the switches in the instance of an emergency.
Inside each breaker box are a multitude of different colored wires, individual breakers, cables, as well as power cutoff switches for different sections of the building. The arrangement of each breaker box is likely to vary and should not be changed or tampered with without the proper knowledge. Most breaker boxes display a diagram of how they should be arranged and used within the inside of the panel, and this can be useful when having to utilize the contents of the breaker box.