If you own rental homes, you're responsible for the safety of your tenants. Problems with your electrical system can lead to unsafe situations. Tenants aren't always familiar with situations that can lead to an electrical emergency, which is why you need to take precautionary measures to protect your rental homes and your tenants from potential electrical hazards.
Here are five steps you can take to reduce the risk of electrical problems in your rental homes.
1. Upgrade Your Electrical System
If you haven't upgraded the electrical system in your rental homes, now's the time to do that. Outdated electrical wires, power boxes, or circuit breakers increase your risk of electrical fires.
Upgraded wiring is particularly important if you plan to install modern appliances in your rental homes. Wiring in older homes can't always provide the power that modern appliances and electronic equipment (such as computers and home entertainment units) require.
2. Avoid Issues With Improper Light Bulbs
If you own rental property, provide the light bulbs for your tenants. That is the easiest way to reduce the risks associated with improper light bulb use. Your tenants might not realize that the wrong light bulbs in any of the fixtures increases the risk of electrical fires.
When tenants put the wrong light bulbs into their lighting fixtures, the fixtures overheat. Higher-wattage bulbs have higher risk of electrical fires. And if the light bulbs are too big for the fixtures, the bulb might not fit properly, which can also lead to fires.
3. Ensure Proper Placement of GFCI Outlets
GFCI switches protect against electric shocks. A GFCI switch monitors electricity in the outlet they protect. If the electrical current changes or becomes unsafe, the device shuts off power to that outlet.
The protection they provide especially helps in areas with water hazards, such as the outlets in the bathrooms and kitchens. For maximum safety, you can have them installed in places like laundry rooms and garages. They can also protect outdoor areas like swimming pools, spas, or outdoor sinks.
4. Install Additional Power Outlets As Needed
If you don't have an adequate number of power outlets in your rental homes, take the time to have additional ones installed. Many tenants resort to extension cords when there aren't enough power outlets in a home. Unfortunately, the improper use of extension cords can increase your risk for electrical fires.
The best way to reduce that risk is to have sufficient power outlets to suit the needs of your tenants. A good rule of thumb is to have at least one power outlet on the main walls of each room, especially bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens.
5. Provide All Tenants With an Electrical Checklist
When you own rental property, you can't constantly monitor the integrity of your electrical system for yourself. For that, you need the assistance of your tenants. One way to keep on top of potential problems is to provide each of your tenants with an electrical checklist. Each checklist should contain warning signs that your tenants need to be aware of. Electrical warning signs include:
- Flickering lights
- Burned or scorched outlets
- Sparks from outlets or power boxes
- Electrical odors
If your tenants encounter any of these issues, they should know to contact you immediately. Quick action to repair these issues will prevent electrical emergencies.
Don't take chances with your rental homes. Use the strategies described here to safeguard your rental homes against electrical emergencies. If you need help with the electrical systems in your rental properties in the Pelham, AL, area, contact us at Supreme Electric. We will keep your rental properties safe.