As we discussed in an earlier post understanding the importance of electrical safety within the home is something every home owner needs to be aware of. In Australia we operate from a 240 volt a.c. power supply which, in comparison with, say the U.S. where they have a 110 volt a.c. electrical supply, is an extremely dangerous voltage – the message is clear – electricity needs to be treated with respect as it can, and sadly does, kill, on occasions. electrical safety

Baring this in mind here are a few tips to keep in mind that may help keep you safe from the risk of possible electric shocks.

  1. Caution when doing d.i.y. work and home renovation. We have seen, on more than one occasion, instances where home ‘handymen’ have been looking to mount shelving on a wall or fitting new cabinetry onto a kitchen wall and have drilled into a wall only to find that they have drilled into electrical wires that were hidden from view. This can result in potentially dangerous situations. On one occasion we have seen where the drill penetrated the insulation of the mains cable going to a power point and touched the active wire in the 3 core electrical cable, causing the circuit breaker to trip on the switchboard. Not only is this situation potentially dangerous, and is a good reason to ensure you have safety switches installed, but can be an expensive problem for us electricians to repair. It could be that to access the wire is potentially quite difficult, depending on whether the walls are double brick cavity or single brick. The motto here is to carefully inspect any area where you are thinking of drilling and try and determine if there is the possibility of electrical cabling being hidden behind the surface of that wall. There are cable locating devices available which vary in their reliability and cost but could also be worth investigating if you plan on doing a lot of renovation work. If in doubt call a licensed electrician for advice.
  2. Do not overload electrical circuits. In these cold winter months some people suddenly find their circuit breakers or fuses blowing or their power boards tripping. This is often the case when people start plugging larger electr heaters into a power board. These heaters can easily draw 2 or more kilowatts of electrical power and if the power board has other appliances plugged into them like, audio visual equipment, lights, computers, wireless routers and the likes, then the current draw can exceed the rating of the power board causing a potential electrical hazard. Even worse is the situation where several power boards are ‘piggybacked’ onto one power board. The motto here is do not overload power boards!