Considering your electrical needs and safety before renting a new commercial premises is an important process to undertake. Insufficient or defective power can effect productivity and put your employees at risk of injury.
Spotting a few of the potential issues before you commit to signing a lease can make the difference between the perfect premises and a nightmare.
1. Sufficient power supply
When considering a suitable space for your business you need to consider the type of equipment you will need to run on a day to day basis. Equipment such as welders, commercial ovens and deep fryers use a lot of power and cannot be safely or effectively run on a standard powerpoint.
It is important to ensure there is enough power connected from the street to the premises and that the powerpoints can handle the appropriate amount of Amps.
2. Powerpoints should be safe to use
Powerpoints are potentially one of the most dangerous parts of an electrical system. An improperly grounded or ill-fitted socket can cause electrocution. You will also run the risk of damaging equipment or sparks potentially starting a fire if the powerpoint is not function properly.
Your landlord has a duty to inform you of any hazards and upkeep your commercial space. Under the Electrical Safety Act 2002, an employer also has a responsibility to ensure anyone performing work is electrically safe.
3. Be aware of ergonomic risks
Too much electrical equipment near each other produces a lot of heat, and a cramped space filled with both people and machines can create a number of potential hazards.
These can range from simple tripping hazards on cords and machines, overheating and electrical fires and overloading circuits for power draw.
Check if the workspace has adequate walkways and passages, as well as enough storage room for your equipment to be safely stored with no risk to people or other machines.
4. Don’t let dust collect
Dust is not only unsightly to look at but can also be explosive if it builds up in a small area with little ventilation, especially around a lot of electrical equipment.
It is important to ensure your premises is well ventilated and can easily be cleaned regularly to reduce the risk of fire.
5. Fire alarms should be working order
Your workspace must have functioning alarms, so be sure to acquire a log of the recent alarm tests and make sure it is regularly tested once you move into the workspace.
6. Thoroughly check the inspection logs
Before signing anything, you should ask for a copy of the inspection logs for the property. This will tell you two things:
- if the property owners are undertaking the legally required checks and balances.
- if they have neglected to maintain things in the past so you can keep a closer eye on these things in the future.
Understanding Your Rights As A Renter
While you’re looking for the ideal commercial property to rent make sure you understand what rights and responsibilities you have before entering an agreement.
Your landlord has a duty of care to ensure:
- any property that is rented out is safe;
- adequate working conditions for the people expected to conduct business there.
- all electrical work done by trained professionals, conduct all checks and balances regularly, and
- the safe operation of the space.
Speak to an electrician
If you’ve found a dream commercial property but are unsure of the specifics, you should consider enlisting the services of a professional electrician.
Signing a commercial lease is a big investment. Consulting an electrician will give you the confidence to make an informed decision about a property that may ultimately become your primary place of business for years or decades to come.