Safety switches in rental properties

Did you know that the lessor has a general duty of care to provide a property that is safe for the tenant?  Safety covers many aspects of the building including electrical issues, which we all know, can be annoying at best and catastrophic at worst.  Your tenants, their family and friends and tradies/professionals who may be carrying out work at the property.

Legally, homes built after 1992 were required to include a safety switch on all power circuits, whilst all homes built after 2000 were required to also have safety switches on all lighting circuits.  Regardless of when a home was built it is a legal requirement to have a functioning safety switch on all power circuits in a rental property.  Although this is as far as the legal requirements goes, it is still recommended to have safety switches on all circuits – including power, lighting, solar, pool, ovens, hot water systems and airconditioners.  If you do not have a safety switch at your rental property you may be fined or worse, you may at risk of litigation should there be a death or injury.

There is no doubt that safety switches save lives, but like anything, they do require regular testing to ensure they are functioning as age, lack of use or other circumstances may render them non-functional.  Safety switches have an inbuilt test button that should be tested every 3-6 months and we educate tenants on doing this regularly.  It is also a recommendation that a licensed electrician perform an operating time current test at least once per year.  Most smoke alarm compliance companies can include this type of test in their annual inspection services.  
If you’re unsure about the safety switch status of your rental property – or even your own property – have a licensed electrical do an inspection for you to advise.  It’s worth the piece of mind.

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