The importance of checking everything electrical

Make sure you check the electrics in a property before buying.

Make sure you check the electrics in a property before buying. - Credit: Archant

Kyle Gamble of St Albans-based KG Electrical Contractors advises landlords, property management companies, residents and tenants of the importance of all things electrical and what to watch out for when looking for homes and offices.

Kyle Gamble

Kyle Gamble - Credit: Archant

The business covers all domestic, commercial and light industrial work from installing down lights in a room, repairing the ever growing list of things that don’t work to new kitchen installations, home automation, extensions and rewires.

In the commercial and industrial markets it completes general maintenance, emergency lighting and fire safety installations, office refurbishments, new installations and data/structured cabling installations.

“The main issue with the electrical installation in a home is it is often taken for granted and forgotten about until it doesn’t work. Ninety per cent of all electrical installation is buried in the walls, so often people don’t understand just how big of a job anything is when something goes wrong.

“As the electrical installation is so often forgotten about, it can often go 20 odd years without being checked/tested or updated. The electrical installation in a private residence should be checked and certificated in terms of safety every 10 years as a minimum. Every rented or commercial property should be every five years as a minimum. Communal areas in blocks of flats are usually the most forgotten about parts of the electrical installation as they are not in anyone’s particular home. I come across so many dangerous installations that have never been tested or looked at. Many of the people I speak to didn’t even know that the electrical installation should have been tested or certificated.

What I have found is that most blocks of flats don’t have emergency lighting or fire alarms in the communal areas which all are required to do under the HASAW 1974.

“Tenants should ask their landlords for the electrical safety certificates for the property they are staying in. Leaseholders need to check the terms of their lease to see whether they or the landlord are responsible for the electrical safety and if indeed there any safety certificates. There is a fantastic website which has simple guides to help everyone out.

“As a business we offer free over the phone advice and free quotes/estimates. There are various safety certificates and tests that can be completed to ensure the installations are safe and compliant with regulations.”

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