Electrical Hazards

Electrical Hazards

Overloaded electrical circuits, faulty equipment and misuse of electrical equipment are common causes of fires in homes.
 
South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) provides the following fire and life safety tips to minimise the risk of injury or fire.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe and appropriate installation, maintenance and subsequent use of any electrical item.
  • Discard malfunctioning electrical appliances or have them repaired by a qualified repairer.
  • Never run electrical cords or extension cords under rugs or furniture.  Cords may heat up when drawing heavy electrical load and the heat cannot escape when the cord is covered.  The rug may also hide any wear or damage that is occurring.
  • Unwind power cords fully before use, including the power cord inside a vacuum cleaner. This will reduce the chances of heat build-up.
  • Have a qualified repairer replace any frayed, cracked, scorched or damaged electrical cords or extension cords. The other option is to discard appliances with damaged cords.
  • Always use power boards that have overload cut out switches.  Do not have multiple power boards plugged into each other or into a single power point.
  • When electrical equipment is not in use and does not need a power supply consider turning it off at the power point.
  • Consider installing a surge arrestor on your mains power board.
  • Install Residual Current Devices (RCD) or sometimes referred to as a Safety Switch to all electrical circuits for additional fire safety protection.
  • When replacing fuses, ensure they are the correct load capacity for the circuit. A qualified electrician must carry out all work on the electrical system of a house and may also assist in identifying the cause of fuses that continually blow or circuit breakers that continue to trip.
  • Ensure all new electrical items are compliant with the relevant Australian Standards.
  • Never use water to extinguish an electrical fire. Use a dry powder extinguisher with an ‘ABE’ or ‘BE’ rating or a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher. For information on extinguishers, refer to the MFS Information Sheet on Fire Extinguishers.
  • Electrical items purchased online from overseas may not comply with Australian Standards. Look for the Australian Standard five ticks symbol or the Regulatory Compliance Mark symbol.

          Electrical Hazards - Australian Standard  (Standards Australia 'five ticks' symbol)                  Regulatory Compliance Mark  (Regulatory Compliance Mark symbol)

 

Download a PDF English version of this information sheet. (PDF 91KB)

 

Combine the above safety tips with the installation of well-maintained, photo-electric smoke alarms in your home that are less than 10 years old. Consider having all your smoke alarms interconnected.

 

For more information call the Community Safety & Resilience Department 8204 3611

Country callers 1300 737 637

email SAMFScommunitysafety@sa.gov.au

or call in to 99 Wakefield Street, Adelaide during business hours.

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