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How to Safeguard your family against Winter Electrical Hazards

Posted on 26 February, 2020 at 23:05 Comments comments (0)

Keep your famliy safe this Winter.


Winter is the perfect time to unpack the electrical blankets, plug in the heater, or curl up in front of the fire. As you keep warm, however, you’ll also want to pay extra attention to electrical safety. With the increased use of heaters and other appliances, winter can be more dangerous when it comes to electrical faults. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to take a few preventative measures to safeguard you and your family against electrical hazards.

1. INSPECT ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES AND EQUIPMENT

Start winter by checking your electrical appliances and equipment for faults. Look out for loose connections, frayed wires and cords, and pinched insulation on wires. Cracked, overheated, and otherwise damaged wiring can also be hazardous.

 

From heaters and smoke alarms to lighting and sockets, do a thorough check of everything in your property. At any sign of damage, replace the appliance or have equipment checked and repaired.

 

It’s a good idea to work with a qualified electrician when you’re checking your office or home. He or she can check your electrical equipment is compliant with the relevant Australian standards. They can also check your safety switches.

2. HEATER AND LIGHT PLACEMENT

Refresh your safety knowledge when it comes to using plug-in heaters and lights. Clean heaters to remove dust build-up. Place heaters in open spaces rather than enclosed areas such as under the desk. Setting heaters in enclosed spaces could lead to overheating and fire. Never leave powered-on heaters unattended.

 

Keep light bulbs well away from flammable materials such as plastics, upholstery, drapes, and bedding. Before changing light bulbs, switch off the light and unplug the light from the socket. Use the correct wattage to avoid overheating.

3. ELECTRIC BLANKETS AND BEDS

Check electric blankets and beds (such as heated pet beds) before use. Ensure there’s no damage, distortion, or wires poking out. Always turn electric blankets and beds off when not in use, and keep heavy items off them to avoid accidental damage.

 

4. WATER AND ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Ideally, outlets in kitchens and bathrooms should be installed a safe distance away from sinks and showers. If they’re not, you might want to use outlet plug covers to prevent accidental contact and electric shock.

 

Never handle hairdryers and other electrical appliances with wet hands. Remind children about thoroughly drying their hands before using appliances, and staying well away from sinks, baths, and taps when handling appliances.

 

5. CORDS AND EXTENSION CORDS

Plug appliances and office peripherals directly into the socket whenever possible. If you need to use an extension cord, keep them fixed in place with cord organisers to prevent tripping. Placing them under carpet might not eliminate the risk of tripping, so use floor cord protectors if you have to run extension cords along the floor.

 

Keep cords away from hot surfaces such as heaters, and avoid covering them with blankets and other items where possible, as covering cords can lead to overheating. Use socket covers on unused sockets, and don’t overload your extension cords by plugging in too many appliances.

 

If you’re powering appliances at home in the garden, remember to use outdoor-grade extension cords. These are designed for heavy duty use and are typically waterproof.

 

6. CHILDREN

Take measures to keep children, especially babies and toddlers, away from potential hazard areas. Along with using socket plug covers, keep wiring and cords out of their reach, and ensure they’re kept away from heaters and other running appliances.

 

Get down to their level and audit your property from a child’s perspective. Along with protecting them from cords and appliances, take additional measures to keep appliances in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens out of their reach.

 

7. SAFELY STORE SUMMER APPLIANCES

As you get ready for winter, check your summer appliances for signs of damage. It’s a good time to check your fans, air humidifiers, and air conditioners for wire damage before storing them away.

 

8. LEAVE SPACE AROUND APPLIANCES

Every appliance should have sufficient empty space around it so its internal cooling system can work effectively. This applies to items such as computers and TVs, as well as refrigerators and freezers. Check each appliance carefully, follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for empty space, and adjust their positions.

 

9. DEALING WITH ELECTRICAL FIRES

If an electrical fire does occur, don’t pour water on the flames, as this will only fuel the fire. Instead, use a fire extinguisher. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher on hand, leave your house immediately and call the fire brigade.

 

10. GET EXPERT HELP

Always have a licensed, experienced electrician check your property’s wiring to see if there’s any damage. Electricians have special equipment enabling them to conduct accurate safety tests. They can assist with checking your safety switch or installing one for you if you don’t have one, or if your existing switch is faulty.

 

TAKING EXTRA ELECTRICAL CARE DURING WINTER

In winter, it’s definitely worth reviewing general electrical safety strategies and checking your property for possible hazards. The practical steps you take could reduce the risk of electrical fires, while protecting your children or others using your property from electrical shocks.

 

Pearson Electrical Services Brisbane is a market leader servicing household, and business customers. If you have any queries about how to keep your home safe this Winter please get in touch 0409 623 970


Why One safety switch isn't enough

Posted on 8 April, 2017 at 20:55 Comments comments (0)



Every year, 15 people are killed in Australian homes in electrical accidents that could have been prevented if a safety switch was fitted on the electrical circuit.


As many as 20 times that number of people are hospitalised with serious electrical injuries and burns. Find out how you can protect yourself in the free Switch Thinking Report.



Safety switches - also known as residual current circuit breakers (RCCBs) or residual current devices (RCDs) - have been in common use in Australia for over 20 years. However, feedback to Master Electricians through members and directly from the public indicates there is a high level of confusion as to what safety switches do.


Safety switches are different to circuit breakers and surge protectors. A safety switch will detect a current leaking to earth and will trip the circuit within as little as 30 milliseconds, and no more than 300 milliseconds. This stops the flow of electricity through the body of the person in contact with the circuit, in less than the length of a critical heartbeat.


Safety Switch


Safety switches stop the flow of electricity on a circuit if it is detected to be leaking to earth. They are required by law to be fitted to the power and lighting circuits of all homes, however are rarely installed on all other circuits. They can be distinguished from circuit breakers and surge protectors by a button marked test, located on the front of the device.


Circuit Breaker


Circuit breakers and fuses are designed to protect the electrical cables and fittings of the home from being overloaded or damaged. They cut power when electrical wiring in the home has too much current running through it. Circuit breakers rarely protect humans from electrocution or electric shock.


Surge Protector


Can be fitted to switchboards to safeguard appliances against a spike in electrical voltage caused by a lightning strike or other external event. Some power boards or extension leads also have this function, however these devices do not offer any protection against electrical death or injury.


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New Smoke alarm Laws

Posted on 8 April, 2017 at 20:15 Comments comments (0)

New smoke alarm laws now apply in Queensland New and substantially renovated homes are now required to have interconnected Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014 photoelectric smoke alarms in all bedrooms, in hallways where bedrooms are connected, and on each and every level of the residence. This applies to homes where building applications were lodged after 1 January 2017. Requirements for other homes will be phased in over 10 years. Interconnected AS 3786-2014 photoelectric smoke alarms will be required from: 1 January 2022 in all homes leased and sold 1 January 2027 in all other homes. To comply with the new laws homeowners can install either hardwired 240V smoke alarms or non-removable 10-year battery smoke alarms. However, any existing hardwired 240V smoke alarm must be replaced with a hardwired 240V photoelectric smoke alarm. The installation of hardwired 240V smoke alarms must be performed by a licenced electrician. In existing homes, it is possible to have a combination of smoke alarms, which can be 240V or battery operated and interconnectivity which can be both wired and wireless. For more information please contact us on 0409 623 970.


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