As human beings, we ensure that our body and mind are healthy. We get regular medical checks done, eat nutritious food, exercise and take necessary precautions against diseases to live a healthy life. Why is it then that we neglect the health and safety of our properties when it comes to thoroughly inspecting all potential factors that might result in a precarious incident? There has been a general reluctance to get property inspections done. This has resulted in many accidents, such as electrical fires that could have been easily avoided had one licensed and skilled official inspected the property before purchasing it / shifting. This blog article focuses on highlighting the importance of getting a pre-purchase electrical safety property inspection done for your property, along with answering a few of the most fundamental questions about the inspection. We must not take for granted electrical safety since electrical hazards can result in the loss of property and life. It is essential to understand the cons of being so heavily dependent on electricity as the human race is today.
WHAT IS A PRE-PURCHASE ELECTRICAL SAFETY PROPERTY INSPECTION?
A pre-purchase electrical safety property inspection refers to the thorough assessment of the property you intend to buy conducted by a licensed A-grade electrician. They do a comprehensive and in-depth evaluation of all existing and visible electrical installations inside the property and in its immediate surroundings. The electrician recognises and reports all safety concerns in and around the property that you must consider before buying it. There are specific legislations about electrical instalments in Australian properties that property inspectors abide by in their reports, which are:
- Electrical Safety Act
- Electrical Installations Regulations
- Wiring Rules
MOST COMMON ELECTRICAL HAZARDS
Electrical problems can result in a disastrous accident in a matter of seconds. Electrical hazards such as fires, electric shocks, power surges, burns and arc blasts cause significant damage to infrastructure and may result in severe injuries and even death. Before we understand why a pre-purchase electrical safety property inspection is essential, let’s take a quick view of some of the most common reasons for an electrical hazard to occur in homes:
- Poor quality of wiring that does not conform to the government standards. Damaged, corroded, or worn electrical wires can enhance the chances of electrical accidents.
- If the wires are not connected properly, such as the earthing wire not placed appropriately, it could result in a massive electric shock.
- Electrical equipment installed in close proximity to water.
- Light bulbs placed near inflammable materials like plastics, upholstery, beds, curtains, etc.
- Covered electrical wires that result in overheating and subsequent fires.
- Pouring water on electrical fires does the opposite of what is intended: rather than extinguishing the fire, it fuels the flames.
- Extension cords can get heavily overburdened when multiple outlets are connected to them. They must be carefully placed in voltage-appropriate sockets for safe use.
Now that we have a fair idea of what results in electrical hazards, let us focus on the role of safety inspectors who will help you in preventing them in the first place.
WHY SHOULD YOU GET A PRE-PURCHASE ELECTRICAL SAFETY PROPERTY INSPECTION DONE?
To emphasise the importance of getting a pre-purchase electrical safety inspection, let us first look at a few fact-checked statistics that would make you think:
- According to Master Electricians Australia, an average of 15 people per year loses their lives due to electrical accidents in their homes.
- Safe Work Australia reported 129 fatalities due to ‘contact with electricity from 2003 to 2013.
What is more horrifying is that there are thousands of cases more about fires that started due to electrical failures in domestic and business properties. All such scary statistics could have been prevented and mitigated with a simple pre-purchase electrical safety inspection of your property. Here are some of the reasons why you must get an inspection done:
- The state government and local councils support all registered companies offering inspection services. So, you can rest assured that the authorised professional at your doorstep is experienced and insured who will conduct a thorough and qualitative assessment.
- After the inspection is completed, the report will include deficiencies and potential problems with the existing electrical circuits and equipment in the property. This way, you can rectify the issues and prevent an electrical hazard from occurring.
- Older houses will naturally undergo wear-and-tear. The electrical equipment used in it, such as earthing wires, would be old, and if they’re left uninspected, you are essentially inviting an electrical hazard to your doorstep.
You can use the inspection report to negotiate a better price for the property’s purchase.
WHEN SHOULD YOU GET AN ELECTRICAL SAFETY INSPECTION DONE?
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is the Australian government’s energy safety regulator responsible for electricity, gas and pipelines in the country. According to the ESV’s recommendations, all domestic properties must have an electrical safety inspection if the property:
- Is more than 25 years old;
- Which was previously owned is being bought;
- Poses any concerns about the electrical wiring and/or equipment;
- Has circuits that are not secured by safety switches;
- Has very old wiring.
ESV also advises all Australian citizens to get their properties inspected by an authorised professional every five years to take proactive measures that prevent electrical hazards regularly. Read more about Energy Safe Victoria here: https://esv.vic.gov.au.
WHAT HAPPENS IN AN ELECTRICAL SAFETY PROPERTY INSPECTION?
After booking from a registered company, a professional will carry out their assessment of all existing electrical equipment. They test appliances, circuits and outlets. Take note that while an electrical inspection is underway, the power to the entire house will be cut. Here’s a list of things that a comprehensive electrical safety inspection will cover:
- Testing safety switches
- Examining the power box
- Reviewing old wiring
- Reporting uncovered permanent wiring
- Ensuring the earthing wire is placed appropriately
- Reporting any electrical equipment that is substandard and/or does not conform to legislations
- Looking out for any exposed wires
- Ascertaining any potential electrical hazards
- Testing power points, lighting and sockets
- Marking the locations of smoke alarms and testing them
ELECTRICAL SAFETY INSPECTION REPORT
While there is no particular legislation in Australia about certification provided to the client after a property inspection is completed, we would strongly suggest that you ask the professional to provide you with any of these documents:
- A thorough report containing all details about the inspection and observations made.
- A checklist that contains all the appliances, circuits and equipment that was examined and tested.
- A detailed synopsis of all recommendations and other preventive measures to avoid electrical failures and hazards.
- A contact list of people who you can contact who will rectify all the recommended changes.
Getting your property inspected is as important as getting a regular medical check-up done on your body. Inspections would help you stay ahead of any accidents that may occur and stay safe. Not only do you keep your domestic and commercial properties healthy and safe, but you can also invite a much better quote while selling it or bargain a better price while purchasing. Choose electrical safety; choose to get your property inspected!