Any electrical wiring, switches or appliances in your home that are not properly maintained are potential killers.
Hundreds of Queenslanders have been hurt or seriously injured in their homes by unsafe electrical items.
A bit of electrical maintenance makes a big difference:
Cleaning appliances after use prevents build-up of grease and dirt, which can affect the electrical function of your appliance.
Always turn appliances off at the wall before removing the plug.
Never overload a power point by “piggy-backing” – use a power board or have extra power points installed by a licensed electrical contractor.
When using extension leads, do not take them through doorways as a door closing on a lead can cause damage. Protect them from the weather and water, and ensure the lead is fully unwound to prevent overheating.
When purchasing second-hand appliances, always check for an “electrically safe” label.
Electric shocks and tingles
Call our emergency line on 13 19 62 if someone experiences a tingle from an electricity source.
Call Triple Zero (000) if someone suffers an electric shock. The operator will report it to Energex.
If a shock or tingle occurs, do not touch electrical equipment, appliances or metal fixtures.
An Energex representative will attend as a priority.
Safety outside the home
Safety around electricity is also important outside the home.
To keep your family and friends safe, follow these simple tips:
Don’t use electrical cords or appliances near the pool.
Don’t play with kites or planes near overhead powerlines.Fly planes and kites in a big open space like a park or an oval where there are no powerlines.Call Energex (or your local electricity supplier) if a kite or plane does get caught in powerlines.
Don’t trim trees near powerlines. Call Energex (or your local electricity supplier) to come and trim the tree.
When carrying long metal objects such as ladders or swimming pool skimmers, watch out for electric wires running overhead.
Never attach swings, clothes lines, hanging baskets or the like around beams which have electrical wires attached.
Contact Dial Before You Dig before undertaking any excavation around your home. You can register online at www.1100.com.au, alternatively call 1100 to determine the location of underground services before you begin any excavation.
Always remember to Look up, and Live when working around the home.
People with solar panels on their roofs should be aware that in the event that electricity supply is disconnected from their home, the panels may still be generating electricity at a dangerous voltage and present an electrical risk. If you believe any part of the solar PV system has been damaged by events such as storms or floods, you need to stay well away from the system until a licensed electrical contractor has been able to attend and make the system safe.
The Electrical Safety Office has provided additional information on Electrical safety when working around grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and Working on roofs and in ceiling spaces.
Don’t do it yourself
You or a family member could be seriously injured or killed if you undertake specialist tasks, such as:
replacing or rewiring a plug, switch or power point
repairing electrical appliances (e.g., irons, toasters, washing machines, etc.)
installing or altering fixed electrical wiring
Don’t do it yourself. It is important to engage a licensed electrician when performing any electrical works, except for these simple jobs, which you can do yourself:
changing an electric light bulb
changing the starter in a fluorescent light fitting
replacing a fuse
resetting a circuit breaker or safety switch
When doing any of the above work, be careful.
Ensure the electricity is turned off (except when resetting a circuit breaker or safety switch where power needs to remain on) and take due care.
Here’s a few tips for staying safe when you’re using lighting decorations:
Avoid contact with external electrical cables and overhead wires, including the electricity supply line to the home.
Check that wires, fittings and lights are in good working order. If they appear to be faulty or you have concerns, either have the lights checked and repaired by a qualified electrician or simply throw them out.
Use low voltage lights and use a quality power board for multiple plugs rather than a double adaptor.
If bulbs need replacing, switch the lights off at the power point and use the correct replacement globe.
Only use lights outside that are classed by the manufacturer as suitable for external use.
Keep leads and lights away from wet areas including swimming pools.
Ensure all outdoor electrical connections are weatherproofed – weatherproofing accessories are available for purchase.
Always use a licensed electrician to carry out any changes to electrical wiring.
Check appliances for damage before use. If any damage is visible throw the item away or have it inspected by a licensed electrical contractor. Never do your own electrical repairs.
Ensure electric blankets have been stored safely. If they have been folded tightly or stored under heavy object wires may have been damaged.
Turn electric blankets off at the power point before getting into bed.
Turn off heaters before leaving the room or sleeping.
Keep heaters away from combustible materials such as curtains, clothes and bedding.
Never leave children unsupervised around heaters.
Never use heaters in wet areas such as bathrooms.
Extract taken from Energex website news article www.energex.com.au/safety/safety-at-home