Electrical fires are among the deadliest fires faced by US citizens. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), they are the cause of more than 51,000 fires and nearly 500 deaths every year, not to mention over a thousand injured. And in actual dollars and cents, electrical fires cause $1.3 billion in property damage every year.
These are statistics for any homeowner, let alone homeowners whose responsibility for personal safety outweighs their immediate family members. Your tenants rely on you to keep your building’s electrical systems safe, up to date and properly maintained, and the law not only depends on your attention, it requires it!
In the state of Georgia, landlords are required to ensure the safety and quality of life of a home by ensuring that electrical lighting, outlets, wiring, and electrical equipment comply with the law during installation and maintenance. in good condition.
Even if an electrical problem does not result in a fire or injury, a dwelling without one is considered uninhabitable as it is needed for basic human needs such as light and heating. Electricity is also needed to ensure smoke detectors remain operational. As the owner, it is your legal responsibility to keep the electrical system of any unit you rent in good working order.
Minimizing Your Liability
When it comes to ensuring the safety of your building or your building’s electrical system, there are several steps you can and should take to ensure you always act in accordance with state laws. To begin with, you should:
- Always use a licensed and insured electrician for all electrical work and inspections.
- Schedule regular inspections of your building’s electrical system, which should include inspection of electrical equipment.
- Schedule inspections between leases as part of preparing a home for new residents.
Electrical Work Should Never Be Part of DIY Maintenance
As an owner you have a lot of maintenance and repairs ahead of you and it is understandable that you would rather save money and do as much as possible yourself or with the help of your family and friends. If you’ve been a homeowner for a while, chances are you have the skills to make basic repairs, paint, replace doors, do carpentry, and more. However, if an appliance’s repair or installation involves electrical work and it’s not done properly, there may be more at stake than just a tenant complaint. Electric shock or electrical fire may result. That’s why electrical work is an exception to the homeowner’s “do it yourself and save” rule. You may know the basics of electrical work, but not hiring a licensed electrician can lead to legal problems and even the risk of losing your home insurance coverage.
Hiring a Qualified Electrician
If you are considering hiring a licensed electrician, you should ask certain criteria from the person or company whose services you ultimately intend to use. Here’s what to ask before you hire someone:
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you offer 24/7 emergency service?
- Are you a full service electrician (doing both repairs and installations)?
- Are your prices reasonable?
- Do you guarantee the quality of your work?
FAQs about electrical safety for landlords:
Q: What are the landlord’s electrical safety responsibilities?
A: Landlords have a legal responsibility to keep their rental properties safe for tenants. This includes ensuring that the electrical system is in good working order and free of hazards.
Q: How often should landlords have their electrical systems inspected?
A: The frequency of electrical inspections will vary depending on the age and condition of the property. However, it is generally recommended that landlords have their electrical systems inspected at least every five years.
Q: What should landlords do if they find electrical problems in their rental properties?
A: Landlords should immediately have any electrical problems repaired by a qualified electrician. Electrical problems can be a serious safety hazard, and it is important to take care of them promptly.
Q: What are some common electrical safety hazards in rental properties?
A: Some common electrical safety hazards in rental properties include:
- Faulty wiring
- Overloaded circuits
- Damaged outlets and switches
- Loose or frayed cords
- Ungrounded electrical appliances
Q: How can landlords prevent electrical hazards in rental properties?
A: Landlords can prevent electrical hazards in rental properties by taking the following steps:
- Hiring a qualified electrician to inspect and test the electrical system regularly.
- Keeping electrical cords and appliances away from water and moisture.
- Inspecting electrical outlets and switches regularly for damage.
- Repairing or replacing damaged electrical cords and appliances immediately.
- Educating tenants about electrical safety.
Q: What electrical safety tips should landlords give to their tenants?
A: Landlords should give their tenants the following electrical safety tips:
- Report any electrical problems to the landlord immediately.
- Do not overload circuits.
- Do not use frayed or damaged electrical cords.
- Do not use electrical appliances near water.
- Be aware of the signs of electrical hazards.
In the Georgia area, including Woodstock, Canton, Roswell, Alpharetta, Ball Ground, and the surrounding area, Poss Electric is the licensed electrician service provider that can unequivocally answer “yes” to all of the above questions. Contact us today for a free service quote.