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Top 10 Electrical things you should be aware of when buying property

There comes a time in your life that you will think of owning property. There are a few tips and tricks that you will need to have in mind when buying property. Below are some of the tips that you need to take into consideration, in terms of electricity, when buying property.


Do not buy a property without an electrical certificate.

You should know that this is the number one golden rule in buying property. You should never buy a property that does not have an electrical report or certificate. Surveys have shown that moving houses comes with a lot of work and stress. And with all that, you will find that some things are overlooked or may get ignored or missed. However, you must not forget to ask for an electrical certificate when buying the property. As a home buyer, you need an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). This is an 8-page report that highlights the condition of the installation. It also has to have a quotation to bring the installation up to regulation BS7671.


Ensure that the plugs and cables are in good condition.

When buying property, it is important to check ALL the plugs and cables. Make sure that they are not damaged. This could be a sign of loose electrical wiring or other electrical problems. If you think that something needs changing, then fix it immediately. Do not wait because electrical accidents are very dangerous and fatal. You should also note that you need a professional electrician to check that.

Be on the lookout for any coloured wires sticking out, this can lead to an electrical shock when touched with bare hands.

Make sure that no coloured wire is between the plugs and the power leads. Also, do not overload sockets as this could lead to overheating.


Check that the light fixtures are not visibly damaged and are in good working condition.

Many people expose themselves and their loved ones to the dangers of fatal electrical accidents because of small mistakes like a lack of knowledge about the dangers of electricity. It is very important to ensure that the electrical installation in your property is well maintained and looked at by a registered electrician, they should be able to check if the installation is safe.

There are, however, some checks that you can make on your own. They include:

Ensure that you have RCD protection in the fuse box

Ensure no plugs and sockets are damaged

Do not store flammable materials around the fuse box or any electrical intake.

Check if the visible cables and leads are in good condition

Never put cables under rugs or carpets

Do not use the top of the microwave as storage

Don’t overload sockets

Ensure to switch off electrical items when not in use.


Ensure that the key electrical regulations are followed

These regulations include: sockets should be a minimum of 450mm from the floor. The light witches must also be a maximum of 1.2m above the floor. These height regulations are supposed to reduce back strain for the physically challenged. However, these regulations don’t apply to kitchens and garages for obvious reasons. Other regulations stipulate that you should run cables vertically or horizontally across walls. Do not run the cables diagonally.


The fuse board should be kept in a metal enclosure

An investigation by the London Fire Brigade has revealed that household fires are mainly caused by plastic consumer-units. The accidents have occurred so because of substandard cable connections by incompetent electricians in the consumer unit. Therefore, all consumer units must be kept in a non-combustible enclosure material.


Understand the circuits

A circuit is a path where electric current flow. You will have separate circuits for the lighting downstairs, upstairs, and sockets for both upstairs and downstairs. This is beneficial because for example, the upstairs lighting trips due to a fault, the downstairs lighting will not be affected. Therefore, you won’t be in total darkness.


Dampness

Check for dampness on the property. Some property is built over a swamp or very mushy areas. This will affect the electrical supply when the dampness starts seeping through your walls. Most electric cables are installed on walls and when that water starts seeping in, then that will cause a very big problem for you. Do not buy a property built in swampy areas. Not only is it unsafe when electricity is involved but also it will cause molds to grow and which is hazardous to your health.


Light appliances and components

All ceiling-mounted or wall-mounted light fixtures must be secured well into place. If they are hanging loose, this can be dangerous to you and your family. All bulbs should be checked for correct wattage. If this is ignored then there is a chance of overheating and burning of objects nearby like a newspaper or a bedsheet.


Electrical outlets should be in good working condition

A licensed electrician should look at this and certify that the electric outlets within the property are working properly. The outlets must not have any physical defects. They must have proper tension and must be grounded.


Test smoke alarms and do a safety switch testing

Activate the smoke alarm to ascertain if it’s working or not. If not, you need to call in your electrical to look at it and fix it. Smoke alarms are so important in case of fire outbreaks. They will detect the smoke and immediately go off. For example, a fire may occur due to an electrical fault. The smoke detector will help to alarm you to get to safety before it’s too late.

These steps may seem too much, but they are all essential especially for your safety and that of your family. So, before buying property, ensure that all electrical problems are addressed and sorted, that way, you will be safe.

In conclusion, making sure that the electrical concerns are tended to before buying a house is an important step like any other steps you would take to own that property that you like.


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