As a tenant, you hope that the next home you rent has safe electrical wiring. But how can you be sure?

Electrical fires claim hundreds of lives each year and cause thousands of injuries. Your landlord is responsible for ensuring the electrical safety of your suite. Here are the safety requirements that a landlord must provide:

The unit needs to be safe before the tenant takes possession. 

Your new suite doesn’t have to have the latest appliances or the best paint job, but it does need to be safe. Any wiring that’s faulty or electrical sockets that pose a danger put the tenant at risk of serious injuries.

A home without functioning electricity is considered uninhabitable.

 

Smoke alarms must be installed.

If an electrical fire occurs, your tenants might not realize it until it’s too late. That is, unless their suite has a smoke alarm. These need to be installed with a functioning battery for the safety of all building occupants.

 

Respond to tenant concerns.

Residents may notice that when they plug in appliances, the outlet gets hot or even produces sparks. When light bulbs flicker or breakers trip, it’s up to the landlord to address these concerns. Ignoring them is not an option. 

 

The building must have enough power outlets.

Extension cords are great for temporary use, but they pose a danger if they’re used for an extended period. Running high-power appliances on extension cords (like laundry machines or dishwashers) poses a safety hazard. 

 

The light bulbs must match the recommended wattage.

Whenever you purchase a new light bulb, you’ll notice a number on the package that indicates the wattage. It refers to how much power is used to produce light. Make sure that the light bulbs are suited for the outlet, or else it could overheat. 

 

Repair any frayed or faulty wiring.

If the coating over a wire is worn away, it leaves a live piece of metal exposed. This is extremely dangerous, as it can cause an electrical fire. Whenever a tenant reports a faulty wire, the landlord must make it a priority on their to-do list. 

 

Set up appliances safely.

It’s bad practice to hook up several heat-demanding appliances to one outlet, never mind an extension cord! If the suite has laundry machines or other power-hungry appliances, they must all be hooked up safely. 

 

Regular inspections.

Landlords need to do more than install electrical wiring properly—they also need to maintain it. Scheduling inspections every few years ensures that any electrical issues are detected early.

 

Repairs must be completed within a reasonable timeframe.

With minor repairs, the landlord will have a window of time to schedule a repair with an electrician. But emergency repairs are more urgent and will require immediate attention. For example, it’s unacceptable to have a tenant live in a suite without electricity. 

 

Don’t wire electricity by yourself.

The electrical work in a suite must be done by a licenced and insured electrician. Doing it yourself can have deadly consequences.

To certify the safety of your rental property, you need to contact one of the top electrical companies in Winnipeg. At Powertec Electric, we can help you keep your building safe for all tenants.