Electrical safety

It is important that you maintain safe electrical services for your own safety.

An electric shock, a fuse blowing repeatedly, sparking, sputtering or appliances overheating show there may be faulty connections to equipment or wiring. Have them checked by a qualified electrician.

The following points are to help you keep your home or business safe.

One power point, one plug

A stack of plugs on double adaptors is a bad idea. A surge protected power board, with each cable labelled, is much better. Having another powerpoint installed by an electrician is much cheaper than a fire.

Appliances

Whether it's electronic entertainment equipment, household appliances or electric tools in the workshop, read all the instructions before you start.

If in doubt about an existing appliance, or if it requires adjusting or cleaning, switch it off at the powerpoint and pull out the plug. Pull it out by the plug, not the cord.

Safety switches

If you work with power tools consider installing a safety switch designed to protect people from the most common cause of electrocution - 'current earthing' through the body. Safety switches usually cut out within 1/37th of a second, fast enough to prevent electrocution in most cases. An electrical contractor can help you.

Care for your cords

Unplug your appliance if the cords are frayed, a storm is approaching or smoke or odd smells are coming from an appliance.

Always pull it out by the plug, not the cord. Fix all broken plugs and damaged cords, they are dangerous. Do not use tape to repair cords, have them replaced.

Think of the children

Ensure that plugs and cords are not hanging where children can pull them out. Ensure there are no electrical wires where children play and put safety plugs into unused power points.

Bring in a professional

Use a licensed tradesman for all electrical, plumbing and maintenance work. If you are working near power lines, phone Power and Water first. Painting trestles, aluminium ladders and metal scaffolding can all be electrical hazards.

A licensed electrician must carry out all the work on installations at your property. Be sure to ask for your copy of the installation test certificate as this is your guarantee that work has been done to the required standard.

Know your switchboard

Know where the switchboard for your premises is and how to turn the power supply off in case of an emergency.

Check that each switch, circuit breaker and fuse is correctly labelled. Call an electrical contractor if you are not sure.

Overhead powerlines

Never play near power lines. If something gets caught in overhead wires, phone Power and Water. Call us before removing vegetation around power lines and keep all structures and vehicles clear of lines at or over your property.

If you find fallen powerlines, keep yourself and others well clear and call 000 or Power and Water's emergency number 1800 245 090.