5 Rules for Electrical Safety

Aug 30, 2013

Every householder in NSW needs to know about electrical safety – and not just for their own safety. As a householder it is your legal responsibility to keep your home safe. If you are a business owner that responsibility also extends to the safety of employees and other people on the premises.

The good news about electrical safety is that there are 5 simple rules to remember:

1. Regular maintenance
2. Certificate of Compliance
3. Safety Switches
4. Contact your landlord or agent
5. Report electrical accidents

However, possibly the most important thing to remember is that when it comes to anything ‘electrical’ a licensed electrician, like Everest Electrical here on the Northern Beaches, will know, understand and comply with the safety requirements.

If you aren’t sure whether your electrician is appropriately licensed you can do a license check: ask for their electrical contractor license number and then check online through NSW Fair Trading.

Regular Maintenance

The wiring in your home needs to be maintained in good working order. This becomes increasingly important as houses age. You should have a regular check of appliances, fittings and earthing connections. If for any reason you suspect there may be a problem it is best to contact us to investigate your concerns and to undertake any necessary work. Preventative maintenance can save expense and grief down the track.

Certificate of Compliance

When any electrical work is done, your electrician should provide a Certificate of Compliance Electrical Work. This certificate is a requirement under the Electrical (Consumer Safety) Act 2004 and the Electrical (Consumer Safety) Regulation introduced in 2006.

Upon completion of electrical work your licensed electrician will issue a uniquely numbered Compliance Certificate which you should retain. It is your assurance that the work was completed and tested by a licensed contractor and complies with industry standards.

When the work involves:

* A new installation
* Alterations or repairs which require extra work, such as network connection or metering, by the network provider
* Work that affects the electrical loading, method of protection, earthing system or the location of the switchboard

A copy of the Compliance Certificate needs to be provided to the network provider.

If there is work to connect an installation to stand-alone power and not an electricity network the Certificate must also be submitted to NSW Fair Trading.

As licensed electricians, the Everest Electrical team stays up-to-date with compliance requirements, any changes to these requirements through Fair Trading and industry bodies, and the penalties for non-compliance.

Safety Switches

Many homes now have an electrical safety switch, but if yours doesn’t you should consider installing one. Just having one isn’t enough though. You should test it regularly, around every 3 months. If, you are on the Northern Beaches, and for any reason the safety switch fails, it is time to call us here at Everest.

In addition to a safety switch, if your home was built before 1977 it is wise to check if an earth rod has been installed. If it hasn’t, again consider giving us a call.

If Renting – contact your landlord or agent

If you are living in a rental property it is important that any electrical problems are immediately reported to your landlord or agent. As a tenant you should know that landlords have a legal obligation to keep their property, and your home, safe.

Report Electrical Accidents

Electrical accidents can be serious. If there is an electrical accident for which medical treatment is required it must be reported, by law, to your electricity provider or Fair Trading. If the accident involves an employee the employer must also report it to WorkCover.

Importantly if there is a potential of ongoing electrical safety as a result of the accident or the cause of the accident the emergency number listed on your electricity bill should be called to make your installation safe.

With electrical safety being a householder’s legal obligation, incurring significant penalties for non-compliance, it is essential that electrical work is undertaken by a licensed electrical contractor who knows the requirements for compliance. In the meantime just remember your 5 rules for electrical safety, and call your friendly Northern Beaches electrician, Everest Electrical, if you have any concerns.