Don't do DIY electrical work this Easter
Many will be using the Easter long weekend as an opportunity to conduct DIY electrical work; however, they have been urged to take safety precautions and hire a qualified electrician to prevent any accidents.
Master Electricians Australia (MEA) CEO Malcolm Richards said: “While people might think DIY electrical repairs are easy and might save them a couple of dollars, it’s really not worth the risk to lives or even wallets.”
More than 70% of the deaths from electric shocks in 2014–2016 were in households.
Queensland Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said “of all the hazards associated with home renovations, electricity is not only the best concealed, but also the most dangerous”.
He outlined a number of safety tips:
- With an increasing amount of the electricity network now underground, people should become familiar with their property’s electrical network. If there is any doubt on the location of the underground cable, a licensed electrician will be able to find the exact position.
- Ensure you maintain a safe distance away from powerlines, for example, while trimming a tree.
- When painting around light fittings, don’t remove the light plate as this exposes live wires even when the light is switched off.
- When tiling around light fittings, switches or power points, get a licensed electrician to remove the light plates and deactivate any exposed wires before you begin.
- Check for wires before drilling into walls, floors and ceilings, especially around power points and light switches.
Essential Energy’s General Manager Safety, HR and Environment, David Nardi, also provided the following recommendations.
“Check tools for frayed cords or loose connections, do not overload power boards and keep extension leads to a minimum,” Nardi said. “Ensure your home, workshops and sheds are fitted with electricity safety switches such as residual current devices or Earth-leakage circuit breakers.”
It is not only dangerous, but also illegal for unqualified people to carry out electrical work. Homeowners performing their own electrical work could face penalties of up to $40,000, while posing as an electrician to carry out paid work carries even heavier fines, as illustrated recently with the $100,000 fine for a fake Airtasker electrician.
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