It is common practice to carry out a building and pest inspection before purchasing a property, but this doesn’t always take into account the electrical composition of the home.
There are so many things to consider when buying a property, however with 40% of house fires caused by electrical faults, electrical safety must be made a priority. We have complied a list of the things you should pay attention to and have a licenced electrician inspect before you move into your new residence.
Electrical Wiring & Switchboards
Especially important when purchasing an older property, having the wiring of your new home inspected by a qualified electrician is crucial. Normally hidden in the walls, electrical wiring is easy to overlook, however faulty or damaged wiring is the number one cause of household fires in Australia. The electrician will also check your switchboard to make sure that it isn’t outdated or damaged and that there is a functional safety switch and circuit breakers. The number of electrical appliances in a modern Australian home can cause a switchboard to overload which can result in regular blackouts, damage to appliances and electrical fires, making a working safety switch vital.
Queensland legislation states that any smoke alarm replaced after January 1st 2017 must be photoelectric, including those in new or substantially renovated dwellings. If a smoke alarm is more than 10 years old or does not operate effectively, it must be replaced with a photoelectric alarm, preferably interconnected to the others in the dwelling. Alarms must be installed in every bedroom, in hallways that connect bedrooms and at least one on every level not containing bedrooms. 50% of household fatalities could have been prevented if a working smoke alarm was present, so it is essential to have them checked prior to moving in.
Ceiling fans & Lighting
A simple task that is often overlooked is checking that the fans and light switches in your new property are all functioning and working effectively. Check all fans by turning them on and try them on different speeds, making sure that they are securely attached to the roof and not too ‘wobbly’. When it comes to lights, check that the bulbs in use are energy efficient, that there is adequate lighting for safety both inside and outside and that any motion sensor lights are in working order.
Air-Conditioning & Pools
Air-conditioners are necessary for our humid Queensland climate, but can be costly when they need repairing. Before purchasing your new home, check that the air-conditioner/s are working properly by turning them on and paying attention to any unusual noises, smells or quality of the airflow. If the unit is more than ten years old, the likelihood is that it will need replacing soon is high so take this into consideration before signing on the dotted line. If your new home has a pool, check the pump system has been professionally wired, that it is operating properly and take into consideration the age of the system as it may need to be reinstalled or replaced soon.
Some of the largest appliances in the home are found in the kitchen and these will have the biggest impact on your energy usage and bills. Newer appliances generally have a better energy rating than older ones, so make sure that you check the energy rating of appliances such as the oven, dishwasher and range hood to confirm their energy efficiency. If the appliances are older, you may need to factor in the cost of replacing or repairing them into your purchase price so that you aren’t left out of pocket.