The Great Recession of 2008 has left many vacant and abandoned properties across U.S. cities. Owners of these empty buildings are reluctant to maintain or rehabilitate their properties. No one wants to occupy a “zombie home” for fear of fire hazards and weakened unstable foundations.
These vacant buildings, however, pose a danger to the neighborhood. From 2011 to 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 30,200 fires in abandoned properties.
This is why property owners should make the effort to maintain even unoccupied buildings. Electrical fires can easily break out due to unchecked wires and components that are still on the property.
Pro Circuit shares three reasons electrical maintenance is crucial for abandoned buildings.
1. Prevent fires and accidents
Electrical wiring and components break down over time. And in an old building with weakened walls and floors, these faulty electrical outlets and wires can easily cause a fire. Electrical fires are among the most common causes of house fires, accounting for 6.3 percent of all residential building fires between 2014 and 2016.
In the event of a fire, the owner could be liable for any fatalities and damage to property. This can result in thousands worth of damage, especially if the building is no longer insured.
2. Prepare for re-occupancy
A test of electrical services is necessary before reoccupying an abandoned building. This includes checking all the wiring, outlets, emergency power generators, security system, and fire alarm systems.
The process would be much faster if the electrical components were all properly maintained during the building’s period of unuse. Plus, maintaining the electrical system helps ensure its safety for people to reoccupy the building, preventing future electrical failures that were overlooked during the assessment.
3. Maintain security
Electrical maintenance is also important to maintain the security of the building, even if it’s currently unused. The owner may decide to rehabilitate the property for re-occupancy. It will be much cheaper if the existing security measures are functional instead of replacing them before reopening.
Checking the security system, including motion and intrusion detection sensors, video surveillance, and glass-break monitors is part of regular electrical maintenance.
Most security systems also have fire sensors that alert the owner and local fire departments when needed. This type of prevention measure helps minimize fires or stop them before they spread.
Electrical Maintenance Checklist
Below is a list of things to inspect to ensure the electrical system of a vacant building:
- General wiring
- Exterior lighting
- Cords and plugs
- Emergency lighting systems
- Security systems
- Elevators and escalators
- Any smart systems and appliances
- Fire alarm and protection systems
- Electrical circuits connected to water systems, refrigerators, and air-conditioning
Conduct a weekly inspection of all areas of the building. Use the checklist to make sure that the electrical components of the property are still functional. Replace any components when necessary.
Leading Commercial Electrical Services Company in Kansas City
Since 1993, Pro Circuit, Inc has been among the leading electrical and low-voltage contractors in Kansas City. Providing 24/7 emergency services and other electrical services, Pro Circuit has catered to hundreds of new and remodeled commercial buildings and industrial plants.
Contact Pro Circuit today for inquiries about our services.