MEA urges caution after spike in electrical incidents
Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has urged homeowners to check their electrical safety, after a summer in which Australia has suffered multiple electrical fires and fatalities.
Visiting Cairns as part of a national industry roadshow, MEA CEO Malcolm Richards said there were a number of steps home owners could take to prevent electrical accidents.
“We’ve had a terrible summer in which we’ve seen a number of homes and lives lost in fires or electrical accidents — most recently due to fallen powerlines in a cyclone,” Richards said.
“We’ve also seen tragedies arising from faulty electrical equipment or appliances that were not being used the right way.
“Incidents like these can often be avoided if homeowners take basic precautions, and while I’m here in Cairns I’m urging people to stop and think about their electrical safety.”
Simple, practical safety steps for homeowners include:
- pressing the Test button on safety switches every three months to ensure they trip off when needed;
- ensuring each circuit in the home has a safety switch;
- only using power tools and appliances for their intended purpose, and not using indoor appliances outside in the weather;
- repairing or discarding any appliances that have visible signs of damage, including damage to insulation around power leads;
- avoiding any DIY electrical work;
- Having solar panels checked every few years to ensure they are working safely; and
- staying away from fallen power lines.
Richards will meet with electrical contractors to discuss trends and concerns within the industry, and proposed changes to safety regulations covering rooftop solar systems.
“We know we work with a product that can result in severe damage, injury or even death if it’s not used safely. As electrical contractors, we are constantly working to improve safety, and with these few tips we know that homeowners can help us in that fight,” he said.
Three serious incidents in less than a month call for more care working near overhead powerlines.
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