Looking to save a few bucks by doing small electrical jobs yourself? Don’t Do It. You could put yourself or your family’s lives at risk, jeopardise your insurance or even burn your house down.
Many of us think we are tech savvy but in truth it takes years to learn the ins and outs of electrical safety and how to properly work with such a deadly element.
According to the Australian Electrical Safety Act 2002, electrical work includes ‘the manufacturing, constructing, installing, testing, maintaining, repairing, altering, removing, or replacing of electrical equipment’.
In Queensland, electrical safety inspectors investigate and prosecute unlicensed work. DIY electrical work is regarded as unlicensed electrical work, which is illegal, and has penalties of up to $40,000 for individuals. A breach that exposes an individual to a risk of death or serious injury or illness attracts a maximum penalty of $600,000 for an individual ($3,000,000 for a corporation) or five years imprisonment.
The dangers for doing DIY electrical work include:
Electric shock or Electrocution
Every year, fatalities occur because of household wiring accidents performed by DIY unlicensed workers. This is often a result of touching the wrong wires together or forgetting to turn the power off. Unfortunately, it’s enough to neglect one step and that can lead to deadly consequences. Because electricity is a powerful force, it’s critical to know exactly what you’re doing when you’re dealing with it. That’s why domestic electricians go through years of training to learn how to safely work around it. Plus, a professional always follows a very specific set of guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety.
Potential Fire Hazard
There’s a real danger of causing a fire due to faulty wiring when you attempt to DIY. With so many different electrical components to work with, it can be confusing trying to fix wiring issues. All it takes is placing a single wire in the wrong spot to cause disaster.
Other problems such as an overloaded circuit, faulty connections, or simply the wrong gauge of wire are common mistakes of DIY electrical work and can lead to overheating, sparks, or a fire. While things may not happen immediately, it can build into a potential hazard and you may not even see it.
According to Fire Safety Australia, electrical fires represent around a fifth of all fires recorded in the country. And once they start, it’s incredible how rapidly they spread. This is why calling your local qualified electrician for any electrical issue will offer you the necessary safety and peace of mind.
Insurance won’t pay out
If an electrical or insurance inspector detects DIY electrical work this may affect your insurance payout as well, with the work was not done properly by a certified, licenced electrician, insurance companies will not be able to settle your claim as the unlicenced work may have contributed to the fire etc. Calling a qualified electrician provides certified work that will be safe for many years to come.
So what can I do myself?
We have included a list of things that it is ok to do around the house yourself. These include:
- Installing low voltage garden lighting
- Installing pond pumps
- You can re-wire old-style fuses
- Replace a drive belt in a washing machine
- Change out a blown light bulb
- Replace LED downlights
- Cutting openings for air conditioning units but not installing them
- Fitting an electric wall oven but not connecting it
- Install a battery operated smoke alarm/detector
If you are not sure you can call Rob Buchanan Electrical for advice today!
Always get a fully licenced and insured electrician to do the work.
Call Rob Buchanan Electrical today on 07 3378 5525.