Electricity is a wonderful commodity. However we must be responsible in its use to avoid injury and damage.
<h3>What are the risks of electricity?</h3>
Here are some of the risks if electrical safety is neglected:
- People can be easily killed or seriously burned by electricity.
- Electrical problems can cause fires. Moreover electrical fires require special fire extinguishers.
- A short circuit can damage electrical wiring and appliances. This can be costly and inconvenient.
- You could be liable if someone is injured by faulty electrical equipment on your premises.
- Faulty appliances can give inaccurate measurements, eg of temperature, time, chemicals, etc. Inaccuracies could result in poor performance, unreliable results, equipment damage or personal injury
<h2>Inspection and Testing</h2>
You can have your appliances and electricity networks inspected and tested for electrical safety. This is good for business, personal safety and duty of care towards others. Furthermore you can have the compliance checked to ensure it meets Australian Standards.
<h3>Test & Tag</h3>Test and Tag is a 2-step process to ensure the safety of electrical appliances. Firstly, the electrician inspects the appearance of the appliance for damage. Then he or she tests it with a portable appliance tester. They tag it with a metal tag if the item passes the test. The tag specifies who tested it and when, and the next due date. If it does not pass, the electrician will either suggest you discard the item or if it is repairable, take that option.
If you are a residential home owner, testing and tagging is not compulsory. However do consider it if you are an employer or have visitors to your home office, child care, consulting or treatment room. You will therefore show that you have taken responsibility to minimize liability and problems that could put others at risk.
You must have testing and tagging of appliances every 3 months if you are a business. This is especially so if you are in construction, demolition and mining. Does your business expose equipment to harsh conditions? If so you’d be well advised to have test and tag voluntarily. For example, this could apply in rural or coastal settings.
Professional Electricals team can test and tag for you.
<h3>Electrical Safety Products</h3>
Small plastic plugs that substitute for a power plug in any unoccupied socket. They prevent entry of moisture, dust, objects and vermin into the socket holes. Help prevent babies from poking objects into the socket.
<h4>Four-way Switched Socket Outlets</h4>
You’ll love these safe substitutes for extension cords and multi-plug power boards. They can be installed permanently so that you have four sockets per outlet.
<h4>Insulated Metal Pins</h4>
These plastic insulation sleeves fit over the metal pins on a power plug. They cover the part of the pins that is most likely to be exposed when the plug is connected. Therefore if the plug is partly pulled out, they prevent contact with a person.
Your premises can have an isolating transformer installed near any high risk electrical outlet. It works by supplying electricity that is isolated from the earth. Therefore it is able to protect people from electric shock.
<h4>**Residual Current Devices (RCDs)</h4>
You’re probably familiar with these under the name of ‘safety switches’. They are normally installed in your power distribution or mains board. If the RCD senses a change in the power level, it will shut the circuit down right away. For example, if a person were being electrocuted, the power supply would be quickly cut off. This would minimize the risk of serious injury or death. It’s a good idea to ensure you have at least one working RCD installed in your mains board. This is especially true for any circuits to electricals that are exposed to moisture.
</h4>Shrouded Plugs and Recessed Sockets</h4>
Simple solutions, these are fitted onto extension cords and double adaptors. If the power plug is partly pulled out so the metal is exposed, it will be covered thus preventing injury.
Children like to poke things into small holes. Internal shutters in sockets provide some protection for curious children.
This is a multi-plug power board that protects sensitive equipment, like computers, from power surges.
<h4>Transparent Sockets and Plugs</h4>
These are made of clear plastic so you can see if there are any problems with the wiring inside.
<h4>UPS (Uniterrupted Power Supply)</h4>
You plug computers or electrical medical equipment into the UPS. When power goes down, the UPS keeps supplying electricity for a short while. This gives you long enough to turn off sensitive equipment properly (eg to prevent data loss on computers). Alternately it gives you time to connect backup power.
Ask us for advice about safety products suitable to your situation.
<h2>Repairs and Maintenance</h2>
We value the safety and security of yourself, family, visitors and employees. Therefore we ensure all our electrical work meets and complies with Australian Standards. You can book us to come and solve any problems you have. For example, we can test and repair faulty, worn, or damaged electrical equipment.
You will from time to time require repairs to electrical equipment or wiring. Generally if you keep things around the home clean, dry and well organized you won’t have many problems. Sometimes however things might get damaged and therefore become dangerous or not work. There’s also general wear and tear. We can perform routine tests and also do any repairs that may be necessary. Small job, no problem! You might also have an electrical high risk area at home. Perhaps you have a swimming pool or enjoy carpentry, metalwork, pottery, art, etc. In these cases your pool shed, man shed, workshop or studio may need more frequent testing or repairs.
Your business activities are likely to place more strain on electrical equipment at work. You are legally obliged to maintain electrical safety. You’re expected to obtain regular inspections by an accredited electrician if your equipment plugs into the mains. This is particularly true if your work environment is hostile to electrical equipment. The Professional Electrical team, being level 2 and 3 accredited, can handle all your testing and repairs.
<h3>TIPS for preventing electrical problems</h3>
Here are just a few of the more common tips for improving electrical safety and reducing damage.
<h4>Protecting your equipment: </h4
- Seal roofs & entrances against rats, mice & pest birds like starlings & sparrows. Kill these vermin if present. Rats love to chew electrical wiring. The birds make dry nests that can catch fire if there’s a spark.
- Check roofing. Repair damage to sarking, loose or damaged tiles, loose roof nails, rusty iron, etc. This prevents water entering the roof space & affecting electrical wiring.
- Keep electrical cords, plugs, motors, etc, away from water.
- Keep cords away from heat & chemicals.
- Never vacuum up water or wet things.
- Avoid cutting, twisting or kinking electrical cords.
- Do not cover electrical equipment especially with anything flat or fluffy. This can cause overheating, short circuits & fires.
- Place chargers (for laptops, phones, cameras, etc) on well-ventilated non-flammable surfaces. Never cover them. Avoid soft fluffy surfaces. Disconnect when charged.
- When we design, we can position power outlets away from water & high heat (like stoves).
- We can instal residual current devices installed in your mains board in case of electrical spikes.
- Get safety inspections from a qualified electrician from time to time.
- Have all electrical work done by qualified professional electricians.
- Children should be taught electrical safety.
- Never poke anything into power sockets or electrical equipment while it’s on or plugged in.
- Fit dummy plugs into power outlets when not in use. They are available in supermarkets & hardware stores.
- Turn off & unplug sensitive electricals (eg computers, modems, etc) during thunderstorms.
- Don’t overload power boards.
- Avoid double adaptors.
- Keep equipment clean, dry & in good repair.
- Disconnect appliances by pulling the plug, not the cord.
- You can save money by turning off at the wall anything not needed in the moment. Having lots of items (like TVs) on standby can add a whopping 30% to your electricity bill. Better for safety too.
- Call power & phone companies before digging into the ground. This way you can find out about locations of underground wiring. ‘Dial Before You Dig’ is an excellent free service to help you.