Electricity is a necessary convenience for our homes. Knowing the electrical safety of the property or home you own or rent out is vitally important. As a landlord, you are legally obligated to keep your property inhabitable and safe for tenants.
If you are a landlord, our article outlines several installation guidelines for ensuring the electrical safety of your rental properties and provides helpful tips to keep your tenants safe. And as a tenant, you must abide by some instructions before and after renting your home.
Inspecting the Outlets
One major thing to look at is the outlets of the rental homes. Bring a little device to plug into each outlet you can find when you visit an apartment to make sure they are all functional.
While conducting house inspections, counting the number of outlets in each room is not necessary. Do make sure the amperage is adequate. For instance, a kitchen should have a breaker with more than 15 amps.
So landlords must install a combination of high and low capacitive outlets in their tenants’ homes based on the interiors.
As a tenant, you need to know how many outlets on a 15 amp circuit are allowed and the primary load capacity rules. For instance, you can fit a 15-amp plug into a 20-amp outlet but not a 20-amp plug into a 15-amp outlet.
Understanding Electrical Installation Condition Report
Electrical Installation Condition Reports are known as EICRs. It is a formal document that is created once the electrical installation within a property has been evaluated. A certified electrician with experience must complete it.
If you are a landlord, EICR reports are important because you must guarantee that the residences you rent out to tenants are safe to live in. It formally declares that the installation is safe for ongoing use (at least for the next five years) or lists any suggested or necessary repairs.
This gives you a declaration that your tenants and properties are electrically safe. An EICR report covers the following electrical installation aspects of a property:
- Socket Outlets: Testing voltage and proper current pass multimeter or voltage detector.
- All the Electrical Fittings: For any faulty connections or broken components.
- The Consumer Unit: Testing the distribution board for functioning breakers.
- Visible Wirings: Inspect for any live wirings or damaged connections.
If your rental agreement states that you provide electrical appliances to tenants, make sure that you register all of them with the dealer or manufacturer. This means that if any issue arises with them in the future, you can have a replacement or repair from the manufacturer itself.
Even though you might not believe it’s important or relevant, registering your equipment actually makes your home safer by removing any potential electrical dangers.
It’s recommended to register those appliances that are more likely to face issues over the long run, such as water and room heaters, kettles, irons, ovens, and more. It is also recommended to seek a licensed electrician for any work on your property whenever needed.
Inform of Any Electrical Issues
Never carry out your own electrical repairs; this is the first and foremost thing. As a tenant living in a rented property, you are required to flag any electrical issues to your landlord once they appear or you feel they are likely to happen.
Prolonged delay in identifying the problem may result in mishaps like electric shocks or even fire. In fact, electrical fires rank among the worst in the United States, claiming the lives of up to 500 people a year while hurting thousands more.
The good news is that if you can identify the early signs of malfunction your home may exhibit, many home electrical fires can be avoided.
You can take safety measures by yourself while using electrical items, like unplugging after use, careful use of multiplugs, and limiting usage during storms. Make sure there are no exposed cables or leaks before plugging in your device.
Tenants can also get a blueprint of the electrical system of their rented property from their landlords. Learning about your home’s electrical system can help you identify potential hazards once you are familiar with the system.
Placement of Electrical Equipments
The electrical equipment’s placement and dimensions are very subjective in a rented property. Most of the time, the placements mentioned in the drawings are considered approximate only.
For rented properties, it’s suggested to maintain the below mounting measures, more or less, for a safe and ideal electrical system experience for tenants.
- All toggle or control switches, like selector switches and light switches, must be placed 120 cm from the bottom of the box to the finished floor.
- Television, telephone, and other related outlets are to be placed 30 cm from the bottom of the box to the finished floor.
- Power, lighting, and other auxiliary system panel boards are 200 cm from the top of the panel to the finished floor. Fire alarm pull switches 120 cm from the finished floor above to the box’s bottom.
- All power outlets in the toilet and kitchen must be mounted 120 cm above the finished floor level. Also, a lightning conductor should be mounted on the top of the house.
The mounting height for other electrical compartments shall follow the manufacturer of the equipment’s recommendations.
Knowing the rules of electrical installation is vital for property investors and people considering renting a property. If you are a family, ensure kids know safe, responsible ways to use electricity and electric devices.
In this article, our guidelines highlight your duties for ensuring the electrical safety of your rental properties and provide helpful tips to keep your tenants safe.