News Archive - Safety

Maintaining Your Smoke Alarms

Maintaining Your Smoke Alarms

Testing & Maintaining your smoke alarms We can all feel the temperature dropping on the Sunshine Coast as we enter into the cooler winter months. Its time to bring out those winter woolies and for alot of people a nice and toastie space heater. Saying that this is the most important time of the year to make sure your smoke alarms are tested and are in good working order. Smoke alarms save lives! In Queensland about three quarters of all home fire deaths happen in houses without smoke alarms. Nearly half of all fire deaths happen when people are sleeping. At present the best smoke alarms are the photo electric type where they actually can ‘see’ the smoke by detecting the visible combustion particles in the air. These are also less likely to set off false alarms when cooking etc. Once installed in the correct location the testing part is easy. The battery is to be checked at least once a month by holding in the test button until it sounds. Sometimes a constant beeping sound is heard from time to time this usually means your battery is getting low and needs to be replaced. Here are a few more tips Always keep your smoke alarm clean from dust and other particles. Never paint over your smoke alarm. Always replace your smoke alarm battery once a year. Never remove your smoke alarms batteries. Always replace your smoke alarm when they reach the manufacturers expiry date. If you have any doubt that your smoke alarms are not functioning properly don’t hesitate to contact...
How to prevent your house from Electrical Fires

How to prevent your house from Electrical Fires

Electrical fires are caused mainly by either faulty house wiring or appliance failure. However, many do occur due to mistakes that homeowners make like overloading electrical outlets or extension cords. In order to prevent injury to yourself or to a loved one. Here are the 5 most common causes of electrical fires: Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets along with old, outdated appliances. Other fires are started by faults in appliance cords, power points and switches. Never use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord! Running cords under rugs or mats is another cause of electrical fires. Removing the earth prong from a cord so it can be used in a 2 prong outlet can also cause a fire. Each appliance is rated at a specific amperage and earth are needed. Light fittings, lamps and light bulbs are a cause of electrical fires. Always check the maximum wattage of the fitting when replacing a bulb. Never place any materials directly on top or over a lampshade. The material heats up and can ignite, causing a fire. Misuse of extension leads can also lead to an electrical fire. Never leave an appliance plugged into an extension lead for a long period of time. Always try and plug your appliance directly into sockets. If need be hire an electrician to install more sockets. Space heaters are the most often cause of electrical fires. This is due to them being placed too close to combustible items such as curtains, beds, chairs etc. Always keep plenty of distance from your heater to any items. Outdated wiring is also a...
Electricity and Children – Safeguarding your home

Electricity and Children – Safeguarding your home

Electrical related injuries to children in Australia are rising and around 80% of them happen in the home. So we’ve compiled a basic checklist and some insight into how and what you need to know to prevent them. The Basics Let’s start with all the the things you can do yourself around the home to protect yourself and your family. Regularly inspect all electrical appliances for faulty switches or frayed/damaged cords and have them repaired or replaced immediately (Never attempt to repair electrical appliances yourself but always have a licensed electrician look at them). Never poke anything into an appliance such as toaster or kettle. Before cleaning appliances make sure they are switched off and unplugged at the wall. Avoid plugging too many appliances into double adaptors or power boards as this can cause fires. Instead have an electrician install some extra power points where needed. When using extension cords outside only use ‘outdoor-rated’ cords and when using them inside avoid running them under rugs or carpets. Always turn the switch off before replacing lightbulbs. Dry your hands before touching any electrical appliances or power points. Have a licensed electrician inspect and install RCD Safety Switches in your home to cut the power in the event of electrocution. Childproofing Babies and children that are too young to teach about the dangers of electricity need to be protected so it’s up to us to child-proof our homes. As most injuries occur in the kitchen and bathroom areas due to their close proximity to water these are areas to pay particular attention to. Here’s what to look out for; Power Outlets...
RCD Electrical Safety Switches

RCD Electrical Safety Switches

RCD’s (Residual Current Devices) or safety switches are designed to cut the power in a fraction of a second in the event of a fault. These life saving devices are not to be confused with circuit breakers, which are in place in most homes but do not protect against electrocution. Whether you’re doing some home renovations or simply using a household appliance at least 15 Australians are killed each year in preventable home electrical accidents and many more are hospitalised. There are 4 main types of RCD’s: Meter box mounted These must be installed by a licensed electrician and are generally located alongside circuit breakers in the main meter box or distribution board of the property. Combination RCD Safety Switches and Circuit Breakers These are great for new builds as they save space in the meter box. Again these are to be installed by a licensed electrician. Portable RCD’s These can be purchased from an electronics store and attach to a power board or extension lead and only protect the circuits of appliances connected to them. Power Point RCD’s Are fitted to a power point and can be distinguished by the test button on the face plate. They must be fitted to the first power point after the meter box. It is a law for all houses built after 2000 to have a minimum of two safety switches installed at the main meter box or distribution board. However, between 1992 and 1999 houses only had one RCD installed which will not ensure complete protection for your family. RCD safety switches can be recognised by the test button on front...
One safety switch may not be enough

One safety switch may not be enough

It doesn’t matter if you own or rent, for the sake of keeping of your loved ones safe you should definitely consider having  safety switches installed on all circuits including your lighting circuits. Without these your family and anyone visiting your home is at risk of electric shock. Why risk it? Give yourself peace of mind and contact your electrician to make sure your home is...