Insurance Companies Insisting on Electrical Maintenance

Are you a landlord? Do you own a commercial/apartment building? Do you want you and your tenants to be safe? Do you want to keep your insurance costs down?

While some things improve with age, buildings tend to decline, particularly without regular maintenance. One of the prime concerns is the electrical system. These systems generally function quietly and efficiently in the background without maintenance until a failure occurs and ultimately can start a fire. In most cases, these fires can be prevented by an effective electrical maintenance program.  Increasingly, insurance companies are insisting on regular electrical maintenance, which includes testing, inspecting and ensuring preventative measures are in place. They are limiting their risk due to the number of claims that have been occurring.  Every insurer is different so double check with your insurance company as to what they require as proof of inspection beforehand.

A thorough maintenance is performed with the utility company and power to the building is turned off for a short period of time. Power has to be disconnected at the utility transformer to conduct the inspection of the main breaker. When the power is off, electricians will inspect all of the cables, the insulation on the cables and the buss assembly of the switchgear. This is important maintenance to detect any deterioration that could cause catastrophic failure. Inspection includes doing a thermal test to ensure the breakers are not internally heating excessively and do not have any detectable hot spots. Electricians should also torque all connections . This is the tightening of all bolts, nuts, and lugs to the level the manufacturer suggests. This helps prevent anything from loosening too much, which can cause arcing and heating in the affected area, resulting in burning and even fire in extreme cases. A professional electrician is trained to identify electrical risk conditions such as poor housekeeping, inadequate maintenance, transient voltages, non-compliance with electrical codes, outdated and faulty equipment and simple things like worn wiring that can increase fire risk.

Your professional electrician should fully itemize what they will and will not cover in their inspection so that you can ensure that you get the inspection that your insurance company requires.

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