Do you lease a commercial property? If so, then you know that there are many things you have to deal with. One of these issues concerns electrical safety. It's one of the essential safety challenges. Overlooking this aspect of commercial property management may result in huge expenses, warns Uptown Dallas Properties.

When something happens and you haven't taken all the prior precautions, costly court disputes could follow. Especially in the case when one of the occupants receives injuries due to sub-standard electrical safety.

In this article, you'll learn all about the importance of electrical safety in commercial properties.

Why is electrical safety important for commercial property landlords?

There are no problems until something bad happens or the building undergoes an official inspection. The latter can uncover faults in the electrical system, potentially resulting in steep penalties.

Additionally, personal injuries following electrical safety issues carry the highest legal consequences. This is a chance that you can't afford to take as the landlord of a commercial building.

But injuries are only part of the potential problems. In fact, you could also be held responsible for the loss of income. For example, a business isn't able to reach its profits because of an unsafe or defective electrical system.

When you think about all these potential issues, you may wonder how to protect yourself as a landlord. What can you do to limit your liability?

Here are some practical steps you can take right now.

  • Smoke detectors. Does your commercial property have smoke detectors installed? And if these devices are installed, how sure are you that they work properly? In some jurisdictions, it's mandatory to have smoke detectors on the premises. But even if you aren't required to have smoke detectors, these are still a great idea. It's an inexpensive way for contributing to fire and electrical safety. Just make sure that you test the devices on a regular basis. There's no use in having smoke detectors that stopped working a long time ago.

  • Regular inspections. You can lower the chances of any accidents by getting regular electrical safety inspections. Choose a qualified electrician who will make sure everything is in top shape. When your electrician finds anything worrisome, you can get the repairs underway in no time. Your commercial property's electrical system isn't a budget line that would be ripe for cutting costs. They will check the following aspects:
    • Code violations
    • Faulty connections
    • Fire hazards resulting from the electrical system
    • Improper wiring
    • Potential for overloading
  • Additional self-inspections. You can have your electrician check the property on an annual basis. But it's a good idea to perform simple safety checks regularly. These won't take much time, but there's a lot to gain if you find any problems before they escalate. Ask for some advice on how to conduct simple checks from your electrical or electrical provider.
  • Ensure emergency lighting works. The emergency lighting plays an essential role in your evacuation plan. This system should work even during a power outage. The back-up generator has to power the emergency lighting for a safe evacuation. Make sure that all the signs pointing to the exits should illuminate in their full capacity. Discuss this with your electrician to make sure everything works properly. If the emergency lighting doesn't work as it should, then you need to repair it as soon as possible.
  • Store combustible materials safely. You need to find a safe place to store any combustible materials that your tenants have inside the commercial building. These materials need to be kept away from electrical systems.
  • Inspect the appliances. Every commercial building contains a host of appliances and electronics. You need to inspect these appliances to make sure that none pose a risk of electrical hazard. You can do this together with an electrician to find faulty electrical cords, plugs, switches, and wiring. Also, switch off appliances that aren't used on a daily basis.

What are some tell-tale signs of electrical problems?

When you spot any of the following signs, call an electrician immediately.

  • Sparks from power plug sockets
  • A burning smell or visible smoke
  • Electric shocks
  • Power plug sockets feel hot to touch
  • Dimming or flickering lights
  • Sizzling sounds coming from the electrical system
  • Power cuts isolated to your commercial property

The bottom line: electrical safety for landlords in commercial property

Electrical safety is not an issue to be taken lightly. When you are the landlord of a commercial property, you need to take care of ensuring the electrical safety of the building.

Failure to provide adequate safety measures may result in costly legal procedures. The consequences are severe if an occupant of your property receives injuries due to electrical issues.

Conduct regular self-inspections. Get a qualified electrician to conduct annual professional inspections. When you see any warning signs, contact your electrician immediately. This could save lives.