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Helpful Information for Landlords and Property Owners

A Landlords Guide To Electrical Safety And Requirements

As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring that your rental property is safe from any electrical issues. Failure to provide adequate safety measures can result in costly legal procedures, warns Bighorn Rentals.
In today’s post, we’ll share with you everything you need to know about electrical safety and requirements.

Common Signs of Electrical Issues in A Rental Property

  • Circuit breaker problems
While occasional tripping is normal, repeated ones may mean trouble.
  • Rodent droppings
Rats and mice love to chew on electrical wiring and damaged or frayed wiring is definitely a fire hazard
  • Hot ceiling fixtures
This could be a sign of insufficient insulation. Also, consider switching to LED or fluorescent bulbs, as these don’t produce much heat like incandescent bulbs which can pose a potential fire hazard.
  • Broken light switches and loose outlets
If outlets or switches stop working or only work intermittently, then this could be a sign that wires are loose. If that’s the case, this cannot only create a potential for electrical shock, but it can also be a potential fire hazard.
  • Flickering lights
Flickering lights are a sign of a power surge. And they can take a toll on your electrical fixtures as well as your appliances.
  • Buzzing sounds
Do your switches and outlets give out buzzing or sizzling sounds? If they do, consult a professional electrician immediately.
  • Warm or sparking switches and outlets
If your light outlets are sparking or are warm, consider having them inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • Counterfeit electrical products
Another common cause of electrical problems is the use of counterfeit electrical products. It goes without saying that these can be incredibly dangerous.
  • Arc faults
These are a frequent cause of electrical fires. Fortunately, you can prevent them by installing an arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) device.
  • Unfamiliar or funny odors:
New appliances often produce an unfamiliar odor upon being installed. The reason is usually superficial, as it could be the appliance’s paint or finish. However, should a strong odor come off an electrical outlet, unplug anything it connects to and call a qualified electrician.
What are the Basics of Electrical Safety for Landlords?

Wondering how to protect yourself as a landlord? If so, wonder no more. The following are some practical steps you can start taking right now.

1.    Inspect appliances regularly

Some of the common appliances landlords usually provide their tenants with include washers, dryers, microwaves, dishwashers, stoves, and refrigerators.
As a landlord, you need to make sure that each of these appliances is functioning properly by regularly inspecting them. You can do this together with an electrician to check for things like faulty wiring, switches, plugs, and cords.

2.    Check smoke detectors

For landlords, installing smoke detectors isn’t optional in many jurisdictions. Depending on your state laws, their absence may be against the law.
But even if your state doesn’t require it, it’s your responsibility as a landlord to ensure that your tenant lives in a safe and habitable environment. This means that the property has adequate fire protection systems, including properly functioning smoke alarms.
Some of the benefits of installing smoke alarms in your rental property include:
  • Alerting you to appliance issues
  • Alerting you to issues such as humidity and ventilation that can trigger the alarm
  • Reducing the risk of damages
  • Protecting your tenants
  • Protecting your investment
Just make sure to inspect them regularly to ensure they are functioning properly. According to experts, smoke detectors should be inspected once every six months.

3.    Regularly inspect various electrical aspects

Regular electrical safety inspections can sure lower the chances of any incidents. Pick a licensed and experienced electrician who will ensure everything is working as it should.
In case your electrician finds something worrisome, act immediately and get the problem fixed as soon as possible.
Some of the various aspects to pay special attention to include:
  • Potential for overloading
  • Improper wiring
  • Fire hazards resulting from the electrical system
  • Faulty connections
  • Code violations

How to Hire the Right Electrician for the Job

When it comes to electrical work, don’t cut corners. Hire a qualified electrician that’s familiar with the type of work that you want done. The following are some questions you can ask your potential electrician to gauge their suitability for the job.
·         What will you guarantee?
·         Do I need a permit? Who will obtain it?
·         What does your estimate include?
·         Will you provide references (for past jobs similar to mine)?
·         What special training do you have for this kind of work?
·         Do you carry any insurance?
·         Are you licensed? If so, which specific license do you carry?
Electrical problems are among the leading causes of home fires. In fact, according to a study conducted by the National Fire Protection Association, electrical problems are among the top 5 causes of home fires in the U.S.

Electrical problems not only damage appliances, but they also pose a risk to life and property. Keep both your investment and your tenants safe by following these proven tips!

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