Safety Switches DO Save Lives
Safety switches are mandatory on all power circuits and recommended on lighting circuits. We can fit these to your main switch board for a lot less than you would think. Safety switches save lives!
Is your home more than 20 years old? If so there is a good chance that your switch board has ceramic wire type fuses. Whilst it is not a mandatory requirement to upgrade these to switch type circuit breakers, Electricians Today highly recommends that this upgrade is done to ensure you and your family’s safety. If the incorrect fuse wire is replaced in a ceramic fuse a fire can be started by a failure of the fuse to blow in the event of a faulty appliance.
December is a time for Christmas cheer with many homes and gardens turned into spectacular festive displays.
During this time it’s important to remember electrical safety. Too often decorative lighting isn’t installed correctly, or no electrical safety measures have been considered.
Electricians Today urges everyone to be aware of common sense electrical safety measures to keep you and your family safe.
When you’re purchasing decorative lights always look for an Australian Approval number such as Q12345, V01294, or N12345. Many decorative lights are manufactured outside of Australia where safety standards are lower but the approval number indicates the product is safe to use here.
A safety switch is the best way to secure your home and family’s electrical safety. In most electrical accidents a safety switch will sense danger instantly, cutting off the power in a fraction of a second.
A safety switch and approval number isn’t an alternative to proper electrical maintenance or safe practices. Your home can be covered in decorative lights inside and out and still be electrically sound; you just need to be vigilant and keep electrical safety top-of-mind.
Christmas Safety Checklist
- When installing lights outdoors, only use lights designed for external use. Generally these types will have a transformer
- Use extra low voltage lights – look for lights with a transformer
- Always turn off outdoor lights during rain or storms
- Ensure your outdoor connections are weatherproofed
- Check for an Australian Approval number when purchasing lights
- Do not piggyback double adapters or power boards
- Always keep clear of powerlines, swimming pools, driveways, and walkways
- Secure outdoor lights to fixtures and keep out of children’s reach
- Follow the instructions and recommendations of manufacturer
Electrical Safety Audits
Is your home or business electrically safe?
An Electricians Today electrician can do a full safety audit of your home or business and provide a report with recommendations.
Take Care – Avoidable Dangers
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.
Beware of What You Can’t See – Hidden Dangers
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.
- 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.
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.