If you are buying your first property, you may find that your knowledge of home electrics is extremely limited. In your time living as a tenant, you have probably grown accustomed to the idea of the electrics being kept in top shape by the homeowner, i.e. your landlord.
However, when the time comes to move into a place of your own, it will also be time to assume this responsibility that you have spent many years letting someone else manage. It is quite easy for homeowners, new ones especially, to lose track of their household electrics. This can lead to many issues, that end of a very bad note. So, we have put together a quick checklist of some standard features of any modern home that you must remember to check and maintain on a regular basis.
Although it may seem so obvious, many new homeowners can be guilty of overlooking the maintenance of a home smoke detector. Smoke detectors should be tested on a monthly basis at the absolute minimum. It is far easier to remember if you designate a specific day out of each month (the first is probably best). Remember to replace any batteries as soon as they run empty.
Residual current devices are there to ensure you are well-protected from electrocution caused by faults within the wiring. Almost all structures built after July 2008 come fitted with a fixed RCD, which you will find at the consumer unit. If you fail to find a fixed RCD, do not panic. There are also plug-in devices available to purchase instead. Each RCD unit comes with a test button that helps you to know if they are still functioning as they should be. Be sure to perform quarterly checks on all RCD devices in the home.
Fixtures and Fittings
It is also worth your time if you check the state of all fixtures and fittings in your household. Make sure that all plug sockets are functioning as they should be and ensure that all screws are present and tightly secured.
It is essential that you check your consumer unit on a regular basis to ensure that it is in visibly good shape. You should also check that there is no evidence of electrical burning, such as visible marks or even the smell. The unit should also be correctly labelled, without any missing blanks.
It is important for any extension cords to be in good condition, with no damage on either the cord itself or even the unit. It is also important to make sure that your extensions aren’t overloaded with too many devices. If you don’t, you are at risk of an electrical fire.
When it comes to your light bulbs, be sure that all the lighting sockets are in good condition and function well. The bulbs must also be the right wattage for the socket and screwed in securely. Any bulbs that are loose or have a high wattage can overheat. This can potentially lead to an electrical fire.
These checks are all within your capabilities as a new homeowner. Even if you are unable to replace or repair any of these faults yourself, you now have the ability to at least make a note of the potential problems early on. This will help you to then understand the next steps for repairing them.
Of course, we also recommend that you have a professional electrician carry out a full inspection on a regular basis. It is recommended for this to be done every 10 years in a home that you both own and occupy. However, if you own a property that you intend to rent out, every 5 years is recommended. In addition to this, an inspection should be made out whenever a property is being bought, sold or rented out.
Buying your Electricals through ABM
Whatever electricals you need to replace, you can turn to ABM to find you the best products for what you need. To learn more about what we can offer, get in touch.