Checking your house for the safety of the new tenants and preserving your rental property is paramount! These 5 checks can be performed to ensure that your electrical appliances and safety systems such as smoke alarms and circuit breakers are all in good working order.
Checking your lighting is very easy! It will only take a few minutes to discover which lights are working and which are not. This can be done by walking around your home and turning each individual light on. If a light does not turn on it can mean a couple of things. 1. Being that the light bulb has blown from the age, quality or amount of use for the globe, this is most likely going to be the fault. 2. The electrical circuit to the light may be damaged or has loose connections. If this is the problem, it is highly advised that you do not go any further than replacing the bulb. Call a licensed electrical contractor to investigate the problem further.
It is also important to look and feel for any damaged or worn light switches whilst turning the lights on and off. This can save you time and money replacing them now instead of when the tenant has moved in.
- Smoke alarms
Testing your smoke alarm could be the difference between life and death, and your house burning down or still standing. To test smoke alarms, ensure the cover light flashes every sixty seconds. Once you have confirmed the light is flashing, press and hold the ‘test’ button on the cover of the smoke alarm. The alarm will sound, meaning that it is working. Releasing the test button will allow the alarm to stop and resume smoke monitoring.
However, in the case of your alarm not sounding, it can mean one of two things. The power to the smoke detector is faulty, requiring an electrician to diagnose the fault in the power supply. If no fault is found they will test and replace the faulty detector. If your smoke alarm is constantly chirping, the battery will need to be replaced.
If your smoke alarm is mounted on a high ceiling, it is recommended to use a ladder for testing to prevent falling and injury.
- Power Points
Testing power points can be quite simple. By plugging in an electrical appliance and turning the power point on, you can determine whether the power point is working. For example, if you plugged in a blow dryer for your hair and it started blowing air, we could assume that the power point works. It is important to remember to turn it off and on when making your way through the house, making sure the switch is switching correctly. For any powerpoints that are not working, it is recommended that you have a licensed electrician diagnose any faulty powerpoints as there could be loose connections, broken wires or faulty points.
Electrical appliances that are built into your home, for example, an oven or stove, should be in good working order. Checking before tenants move in can save you time and money; some landlords may not find the cheaper electrician, and you will have to pay more for something you could have found cheaper before the landlord took over.
To test an electric oven or hotplate, go through all the settings to ensure the dials are moving correctly. Make sure the temperatures are being met using a thermometer in the oven. Please note that some surfaces will be hot so take great care in testing your electrical appliances.
The replacement of an electrical appliance will need to be carried out by an electrical contracting company or a licensed appliance repairer. Instructions will need to be followed closely to ensure the appliance is installed to industry and manufacturing standards for the safety of all users. The power supply, circuit breaker and wiring must be suitable for a large current draw when each appliance is in use.
It is best to have a certified electrician come to your house and inspect your electrical switchboard. In older houses, wiring can be seen as “below industry standards” in this day and age. This is due to the likes of ageing circuit protection in your switchboard; circuit protection is the safety feature in place to prevent electric shocks to the home’s occupiers if there were to ever be an exposed wire or fault in the circuit. Switchboards are generally located on the side of the home; inside, you will find the electrical circuits that control your home’s lighting, air conditioning, powerpoints and more. Switchboards can be dangerous, so letting someone qualified check the circuit breaker and wiring is highly recommended.
All in all, checking the electrical integrity of the house you are renting can be a great piece of mind for yourself and the new tenant, saving you time and money.