Many students are coming to the end of their first year at university and are beginning to sort out accommodation for the next academic year. Generally, students spend the first year of university in student halls, but for the second year they have to privately rent. This usually entails getting a group of friends together and browsing properties to let in a convenient location. Once a house has been found, and the argument settled about who will be getting the biggest room, a little attention will need to be given to the electrical safety of the shared house.
Electrical Safety for Students in Rented Accommodation
By law, your landlord will be responsible for ensuring the fixed wiring has been inspected and is safe along with any electrical appliances that are supplied. They are also responsible for ensuring there are working smoke detectors in the property.
If the property comes “fully furnished” the portable appliances such as: fridges, freezers, washing machines (even if built in appliances) and smaller appliances like kettles, microwaves and toasters, should be PAT tested. On each appliance, there should be a completed and dated PAT test label affixed and to set your mind at rest, you can perform a visual safety check on the electrical equipment.
Signs that an appliance is not safe are;
- Damage to the cable, including cuts or fraying.
- Cracked outer casing of the plug or bent pins
- Damage to the appliance casing
- Any signs of electrical tape on the lead
- Coloured wires visible at the end of the cable where it joins the plug
- Burn marks on the plug or lead or appliance casing
Shared student houses have more electrical appliances than the average household. Each student will most likely have a TV in their room, a PC or laptop and games console, not to mention all the personal electrical items such as mobile phones, hair dryers, straighteners and shavers. The electrical safety of these items is the responsibility of the person who owns them, not the landlord. If there is any doubt, get the items tested or replace it!
By spending a little time to ensure all electrical items are safe, you will not only be making sure that everyone who lives there will be safer, but the property itself will be too.
Until Next Time, Stay Safe,