If you lease commercial property to another business, liability for electrical safety may be the last thing on your mind. You’ve got plenty of other issues to deal with, including heating, air conditioning, lighting, and general maintenance. And while you surely care about the safety of your building’s occupants—it’s something that’s easy to take for granted . . . until something happens.
Then you can have a serious problem on your hands. If someone is injured on the job because of faulty electrical work you could be facing huge consequences—especially in today’s litigious environment.
It’s not just lawsuits for personal injury you have to worry about either. If a business isn’t able to perform properly because of an inadequate or unsafe electrical system, you could be on the hook for loss of income as well. So how do you limit your liability—and ensure the safety of your tenants? Here are a few simple steps you can take.
- Perform Regular Inspections: A qualified electrician can test your system for potential overloading, improper wiring, faulty connections, possible hazards, and code violations. Your electrician can then summarize anything that needs to be addressed and provide you with an accurate estimate of what repairs or fixes will cost.
- Install Emergency Lighting: It’s easy to assume that emergency lighting is in place, but you should make sure you have a back-up plan for safe evacuation of tenants if your building’s electric service fails —for whatever reason. Emergency lighting should automatically kick in even during power outages and provide tenants with safe egress. Again, this is something your electrician can set up for you and test on a regular basis.
- Perform Simple Safety Checks Yourself: Sometimes you really don’t need an electrician to perform some safety checks. A good commercial electrical company can bring you up to speed on simple checks you can perform yourself to ensure your safety.
- Set Up Smoke Detectors: Smoke detectors are an inexpensive way to add another layer of safety. And many newer detectors also check for the presence of CO2 as well. Of course they only “detect” when they’re working properly. So even if you have smoke detectors installed make sure they’re tested regularly and powered.
If you’re taking over a new building, or if you’re just not sure about the status of the electrical system in an existing building, it just may make sense to have a certified electrician evaluate your building. It only takes a little time and money to limit a great deal of liability.