Electrical Safety Checklist

What is an electrical safety checklist?

An electrical safety checklist is a comprehensive list of the components in an electrical system that are inspected during an electrical safety check. Following this checklist will guarantee that a property’s electrical circuits and appliances meet the safety obligations and standards. 

Recent changes to the Residential Act 1997 (VIC) have increased the mandatory requirements for the assessment and control of electrical hazards in residential rental properties. It is the responsibility of the landlord to remove any risks in order to protect the property’s occupants from injury or even death.

In this article, Plumbelec Inspections explain the most essential points in the checklist that need to be covered to ensure that your electrical system complies with the current standards. 

Electrical-Inspection-checklist-graphic-image

Who uses an electrical inspection checklist?

Property managers and landlords may carry out a visual inspection of the general condition of a property’s electrical system. However, it is only a qualified electrician who can safely identify any electrical hazards and undertake the necessary electrical work to repair and restore the system to its optimal performance. Apart from a visual inspection, a licensed professional will test all the circuits and devices to prevent malfunctions that can lead to fires and accidents. 

What is included in an electrical inspection checklist?

The checklist includes all the elements that constitute a property’s electrical system, plus all the appliances provided by the landlord in a Melbourne rental property check. A fault in any part of the system, as well as malfunctions in fittings and installations, represent a safety hazard. But it is less known that factors like location and placement of cords and switches can also lead to accidents. 

From supply mains and light switches to range hoods and dishwashers, the checklist guides you through all the features that are examined during an electrical audit. All equipment will be inspected in terms of fire resistance, location and accessibility, and circuit interconnection. Earth loops and polarity tests will be performed in order to determine the reliability of the electrical system. 

Here are some of the items included in the electrical safety checklist: 

Landlord Supplied Electrical Appliance

During an electrical safety check, all electrical appliances provided by the landlord will be inspected. This includes but is not limited to leads, plugs, light switches, and even overhead fans. Everything must be in safe operating conditions to prevent electrocution or fire hazards. 

Switchboard Testing

Switchboards are visually inspected to evaluate their location and accessibility, and to identify any signs of damage, overheating or exposed wiring. They must be properly insulated and enclosed. After that, they are tested for things like fire resistance, circuit interconnection, and main Earth system compliance. Safety switches are tested, resetted and replaced when necessary.

Electrician-inspecting-switchboard

Powerpoint Testing

Powerpoint testing includes things like voltage and polarity on all accessible powerpoints to ensure they are compliant, as well as checking for undamaged Earth connections, no loose wiring and proper insulation. 

Power and Extension Cords

Cords can be subject to damage, cuts or abrasion, which represent a serious shock and fire hazard. All cables and wires are inspected to make sure they have their proper casing and no exposed wires. They are often found tangled or wrapped, which can result in melting or weakening of insulation as they trap heat. If the cords are damaged, they must be replaced. In some cases, this means the replacement of the entire equipment. 

The location of power and extension cords is also examined. First, they require a dry location with good ventilation. Second, they should not obstruct foot traffic areas to avoid tripping hazards, plus they could be damaged when stepped on, becoming a fire and shock hazard. Cords should be placed away from furniture or rugs, or any weight that can crush their insulation or break the wire strands. Third, cords must be securely fixed to walls or baseboards, ensuring nails and staples do not tear or crush the insulation or cut the wires inside. Finally, the electrical rating on appliances and extension cords is checked to make sure they do not carry more than their load capacity, as too much current can cause overheating. 

Electrical Metre

The inspection of the electrical metre’s performance is mainly evaluated in terms of circuiting, electrical and even climatic conditions, which are external factors that may affect its accuracy. Things such as the voltage supply, insulation, Earth fault protection and electromagnetic compatibility are checked, all of which can reduce the reliability and performance of the inner circuit and nearby equipment. 

Double Adapters

Double adapters are typically fitted as a quick and economical solution to an insufficient number of outlets. They work as additional power points, although they are much less reliable, for a variety of reasons: they are not protected from overloads, they are often used incorrectly and are poorly designed. Double adapters increase the risk of fire or electrocution, especially as plugs can become slightly dislodged while still active, and can be triggered at the minimal touch. We recommend that these adapters are removed and new power points are installed by a licenced electrician.

Why Should you Hire a Qualified Electrician?

The Residential Tenancies Act requires electrical safety checks to be conducted by a licenced electrician.  Only a licensed electrician is equipped to perform safe electrical work and implement the best risk control. They can accurately determine the location of electrical lines and installations, identify the type of installations and clearance zones, and conduct specialised tests such as voltage to diagnose the condition of the electrical system. In addition, qualified professionals are trained in the nature of every electrical hazard and know the correct emergency responses in the event of a problem. 

 

In accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act, rental providers are required to have an electrical safety check conducted every 2 years and must provide a copy of the report to the renters upon request. Get in touch with Plumbelec Inspections to organise your cost effective and hassle free inspection.

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