Electrical Hazards

Electrical Hazards

Overloaded electrical circuits, faulty electrical equipment and misuse of electrical equipment are common causes of fire in the home. The following fire and life safety tips are recommended to minimise the risk of injury or fire.

  • Never run electrical cords or extension cords under carpets or rugs. Cords may heat up when drawing heavy electrical loads and the heat can’t escape when the cord is covered. Over time this can cause a fire. In addition, when the cord is covered you can’t see any wear or damage occurring.
  • Replace any frayed, cracked, scorched or damaged electrical cords or extension cords.
  • Discard malfunctioning electrical appliances immediately or have them repaired by a qualified electrician.
  • Replacement fuses must be of the correct load capacity for the circuit. A qualified electrician should identify the cause of repeatedly blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers.
  • Install earth leakage circuit breakers to all electrical circuits for additional life safety protection.
  • When electrical equipment is not in use and does not need a power supply, ensure it is always turned off at the power point.
  • Provide adequate ventilation around all electrical equipment to avoid excessive heat build up.
  • Use all electrical equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Use power-boards with an overload cut-out switch rather than double adaptors.
  • Keep all electrical items (including power-boards) free of dust and well clear of any water.
  • Unwind power cords fully before use. Retractable vacuum cleaner cords, Cables on spools, and electrical cords that are stored on reels or winders must all be unwound to help prevent overheating. Never use water to extinguish an electrical fire. Use a Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher with an E rating for electrical hazards or a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher.
  • Ensure that new electrical items are compliant with an Australian Standard. Look for a Regulatory Compliance Mark and/or the Standards Australia 'five ticks' symbol on the packaging.

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



Download a PDF English version of this information sheet. (PDF 73KB)


For further advice ring the Community Safety & Resilience Department on

8204 3611, Country callers 1300 737 637

email samfscommunitysafety@sa.gov.au

or call in to the Adelaide Fire Station at 99 Wakefield Street, Adelaide during business hours.