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Research shows that faulty appliances and other consumer equipment cause most electrical fatalities in Australia. Only about 35 per cent of deaths are caused by fixed wiring. This means that even though you have a home with top-quality wiring fitted by a registered electrician if the electrical equipment you use in your home is not up to standard, you could be at risk.

Precision Electrical and Plumbing advises clients to buy equipment that meets the AS/NZS 3160:2010 Standard. Even though the Standard is not law, workplaces must comply with it, and it’s recommended that all households do too.

In the workplace, all appliances should be tested while in service. While this is not compulsory for domestic homes, the list of equipment specified in the Standard includes items used in the house: microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners, kettles, toasters and the rest. Portable air conditioners, hand-held and other portable tools, machines, office equipment, safety switches, and residual current devices (RCDs) are also included.

As any Melbourne electrician knows, the reality is that many fatal accidents – in the home and the workplace – are caused by people coming into contact with damaged or worn cables and faulty switches. So if the appliances you use are not new or relatively new, it’s a good idea to have them tested.

Here are some other general safety tips to ensure your home is safe.

Safety Tips For Householders

Electricity can be lethal, so only registered electricians are permitted to wire homes and work on electrical systems. However, electricity is a vital power source, is treated with caution and respect, and is perfectly safe.

  • Unless appliances are operated via a timing device, plugs should permanently be removed when machines are not in use.
  • Use good quality plugs and check the wiring in the plug regularly. If people tug on cords, the wiring in a plug can come loose.
  • Any appliances that undergo rough treatment should have a rubber plug (rather than plastic).
  • If you are working on a circuit – even simply removing the faceplate of a switch or changing a circuit fuse – switch off the main’s electricity.
  • Do not join flex with insulating tape. If you have to join flex, use a proper flex connector.
  • When you use appliances, be careful not to stretch or flex.
  • If the flex is damaged or worn, replace it or replace the appliance. Never try to patch it.
  • When using long extension leads, do not work with them rolled up because they can overheat.
  • Plug adaptors are handy but don’t overload plugs. Generally, you should never use more than one adaptor in a single socket.
  • Never plug a high-powered appliance into an adaptor.

Lastly, if you have any doubts or worries about electricity in your home, or are concerned about an appliance, call a registered Melbourne electrician to help you. And remember that Precision Electrical and Plumbing offers 24-hour emergency service.


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Justin Morris

Find them on their website: Precision Electrical & Plumbing, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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