The electricity that runs through your home allows you to live an easy and convenient life. However, if not managed properly by a domestic or commercial electrician, electricity can also damage the property and cause serious personal injuries. According to Fire and Rescue NSW, one of the most common causes of house fires across Australia are electrical problems.
Due to the dangers of electricity, electrical safety inspections are necessary for your home and/or place of business. Indeed, such inspections are essential for ensuring your family’s and colleague’s safety.
In this blog, we’re going to discuss the instances where you’ll need to carry out an electrical safety inspection. We’ll also discuss what’s involved in the process and what you can expect afterwards.
What is an electrical safety inspection?
Electrical safety inspections can only be carried out by government-approved safety inspectors. They will assess electrical appliances, circuits, and outlets. The faults that safety inspectors will typically look out for are various electrical hazards, damaged wiring or outlets, improper earthing, and overloaded circuits.
At some point in the process, the inspectors will switch off the power to carry out a more thorough inspection of your home’s electrical systems. Typically, these inspections will cover both the interior and exterior of your property.
Once the inspection is done, the inspector should provide you with a detailed report of the findings. Depending on what they find, they may provide you with instructions on how to improve the safety of your home or office.
When do you need an electrical safety inspection?
- Before buying or selling a home
Whether you’re moving into or out of a property, it’s important that you get a professional to check the condition of the property’s electrical systems. Of course, you wouldn’t want to move into a home only to find out that it needs a bunch of repair work.
If you discover that the home that you’re about to buy has serious electrical issues, it could put you in a position where you can negotiate a lower buying price.
The good news is that most building inspections cover electrical assessments along with plumbing, HVAC and pest inspections. However, if your building inspector doesn’t cover it, you need to make sure to hire a separate licensed electrical inspector.
Be sure to check with your local council if you have any concerns or questions about electrical safety inspectors.
- After a major storm
Even if there’s no visible damage after a major storm, it’s still a good idea to get an electrical safety inspection carried out. There might be issues underneath the surface that could put you at risk.
After a storm, there are few things to keep in mind. If your home was flooded and the water made contact with various electrical components, be sure to call an emergency electrician as soon as possible. Do not touch anything that could injure you. As much as possible, stay away from the scene until the electrician arrives.
In the future, if you know that a big storm is coming, you can prepare ahead of time. You can do this by testing all safety switches, turning off unessential appliances and installing surge protectors.
- When your home reaches a certain age
If your home or the electrical wiring is over twenty-five years old, you should contact a licensed electrician for an inspection. An old home is likely to have a variety of electrical problems that have developed over the years and decades. An electrician will be able to identify safety hazards within the home as well as parts that are simply out-of-date and are no longer reliable.
Additionally, if you didn’t own the home from the start, a safety inspector should be able to see if there is any improper DIY work that has been done in the past. Indeed, amateur DIY work could prove to be a safety hazard if not identified.
- When your appliances have been acting up
When your electrical appliances are acting up it could be more than just a faulty appliance. There could be something wrong with your property’s electrical wiring and circuits.
If you notice your electrical appliances are acting up in conjunction with any of the points above, you should get an electrical safety inspection as soon as you can.
- On a regular basis
Even if none of the points above apply to you, you should still carry out an electrical safety inspection every five years or so. You simply don’t know when and how things can go wrong. Despite our best efforts, sometimes property issues just slip past us.
As such, it’s best to get the aid of a professional inspector even if nothing seems to be wrong. Through regular inspections, you can identify electrical problems as soon as they arise. Fixing such issues early could save you from serious injuries and/or expensive property repairs.
Having an inspector visit your home is a small price to pay for safety and peace of mind. If your home falls into any of the categories discussed above be sure to contact an inspector as soon as you can. Depending on the state or territory that you’re in, there may be differences in what’s involved in electrical safety inspections. Be sure to check official government pages if you have further questions or concerns.