Electrical Safety in your rental – Must knows!
Consumer Protection receives various enquiries about electrical safety matters from tenants daily. Recent examples include a tenant that believed their RCDs were subject to a recall and had shocked them, faulty power points causing the RCDs to trip, rats in the roof causing electrical safety issues and even certain lights switches tripping the main power.
First you will need to establish if the issue is urgent or you may be able to fix. If it is urgent its creating a risk for the tenant or the property and it must be arranged to be fixed right away. Something that may not be considered urgent would be an RCD trip in which case you should be able to go out and switch it back on.
As a tenant it is your responsibility to try and avoid these issues by doing as much as you can to ensure that the property is safe.
You can do this by:
- Regularly checking RCDs as discussed further on.
- Reporting any issues with electrical matters asap to the property manager.
You should check the RCDs are working every 3 months.
- All RCDs have a test button. By pushing the test button all power should be lost.
- To restore power simply move the “on/off” switch.
- If power isn’t lost, contact your lessor for a licensed electrical contractor to further test the RCD.
RCDs prevent electrocution by monitoring the electricity flowing in and out of a circuit. RCDs cut the electricity supply instantly if a person touches a live part and receives a shock, to prevent electrocution. If RCDs are not fitted or have issues, you must advise the property manager to rectify this.
Regularly checking smoke Alarms:
You should check smoke alarms to ensure they are working. All smoke alarms have test buttons, when pressed they will indicate whether the alarm is working or not. If you cant find a smoke alarm in the property or believe it to be faulty or damaged call your property manager.
Hopefully this makes you understand the importance of electricity in the home and you now have a better understanding on how to ensure your home is safe.