Electrical safety at home

With many of us spending more time at home working on DIY projects, it's essential to always hire a professional for electrical work – and turn off the power supply while work is being done.

Don’t do your own electrical work

Don’t attempt your own electrical work. It could kill you and/or the people you live with.

It’s dangerous, illegal and can affect your insurance claims now and in the future.

You could:

  • start a fire
  • electrocute yourself or someone else
  • expose other people to electrical shocks in yours and/or nearby households

Always use a licensed electrician or contact your property manager to arrange for one if renting.

Always check the electrician has a current licence before agreeing to any work.

You can check their licence number on the public register.

Ask the electrician to check the condition of your switchboard and whether a safety switch is fitted.

If your switchboard doesn’t have a safety switch, ask your electrician to install one.

Hire a professional

Once you’ve arranged for a licensed electrician, ensure you:

  • are provided with an outline of all COVID-19 site safety measures that will be implemented
  • are updated on any changes to these safety measures
  • develop an action plan with the electrician regarding site management if the project is ongoing
  • comply with social distancing by using phone or electronic means to communicate about decisions effecting contract conditions or work scheduling
  • confirm the electrician hasn’t been overseas, isn’t showing symptoms, and don’t have the virus.

Plug in appliances

With the whole family at home, there will likely be more devices being used at once.

Safety tips include:

  • don’t overload power points and power boards
  • never use faulty electrical leads or appliances
  • if an appliance such as a toaster or hair dryer is broken, replace it or have it repaired.

If you are a licensed electrician, you can repair your own plug-in appliances

Roof and under floor spaces

There are serious electrical cable dangers in your roof and under floor space.

If you need to get into either space, turn off all main power switches at the switchboard.

Please be aware there still may be live cables in your roof space, even if the power is switched off.

These are usually the consumer mains connecting the electricity from the street to the switchboard.

If a worker such as an electrician or pest controller needs access to your roof space, allow them to turn the power off.

Prepare for the power to be turned off by:

  • charging phones and electronic devices
  • finding alternative storage for frozen food if the power will be off for a significant amount of time
  • using battery power for medical equipment or arranging for people who depend on that equipment to be with friends or family.
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