General Safety Tips
Lifesaving advice while working around electricity
When working around a home, we often don’t treat electricity with the respect it deserves. Too often, people get seriously hurt or even killed as a consequence. As an electrical contractor, we don’t want that to happen to anybody, ever, which is why we have re-published this guide. (The original can be found on Energy Australia’s web site)
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Extreme danger. Bring in the experts.
There are certain situations when it’s the phone you should be reaching for, not the screwdriver. These tasks should never be attempted unless you are a qualified electrician:
* Wiring any part of a home.
* Installing lighting or switches.
* Installing or moving power points.
* Rearranging electrical wires.
* Carrying out electrical maintenance.
* Replacing frayed cords on appliances.
If you are not sure, advice is free just pick up the phone and call me on 1 0419 979 667.
You should also do a safety check of your home before renovations begin. For this, it is best to call a qualified electrician who has the necessary tools and knows exactly what to look for.
NOTE: Never interfere with the electric meter or divert electricity from the main powerlines to your home. It is not only illegal; it can also be extremely dangerous. The results can often lead to serious property damage, severe injury or even death.
Avoidable danger.Take care.
Many of us may attempt simple renovations or home handy work, so it is important to remember these simple rules:
* Use an extension lead that is appropriate for the power loading you need.
* Check that it has three prongs and is approved to Australian Standards.
* Extension leads with only two prongs are not ‘earthed’ and are dangerous. If an appliance is faulty, a non-earthed plug can cause power to flow through the body of whoever’s using it, with potentially fatal results.
* Fully unwind extension leads before you use them so that they don’t run the risk of overheating.
* Never use more than one double adaptor in a single power point.
* When painting around light fittings, don’t remove the light plate as this will expose live wires even when the light is switched off. Mask around it instead.
* 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.
* Safety switches need to be checked regularly to ensure that all power and lighting circuits are protected. Use the Test Button of the safety switch to check that it switches off. This will shut down the power for most dangerous situations that arise. Portable safety switches can be bought from most hardware stores and are recommended for protection when using power tools.
Hidden danger. Beware of what you can’t see.
Sometimes, contact with electricity can occur unexpectedly, simply because the source is concealed.
So please make sure that you:
* Check for wires before drilling into walls, floors and ceilings. When a metal drill comes into contact with concealed wiring, it can spell disaster for the user, so always make sure you know where wires run first. Be particularly careful when drilling around power points and light switches.
* Look up and around you. When using ladders or carrying other tall objects, always look out for powerlines and take care to avoid them. If the job requires close proximity to a powerline, be sure to install a visual aid for a small fee by calling Energy Australia on 13 15 25. They can add ‘tiger tails’ to help improve visibility of powerlines so that they can be easily avoided.
* Avoid contact with underground cables. Check your switchboard for a diagram or call ‘Dial Before You Dig’ on 1100.
* When painting eaves, replacing or cleaning gutters, avoid getting close to the electrical wires that connect your home to the power poles.
* When changing a blown light bulb, make sure the power is off to avoid being harmed by exposed filaments.
Call us on 0417 415 474 or 0419 979 667