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Deadly housefire highlights the importance of electrical safety

Australian homeowners are strongly encouraged to review their smoke alarms and electrical systems in the aftermath of the deadly Clayfield housefire.

Master Electricians Australia National Advocacy Advisor Chris Lehmann says whilst the cause of the fire is not yet confirmed, fire investigators indicate the cause was an electrical fault.

“Electrical faults are the leading cause of housefires in Australia,” Mr Lehmann said.

“One of the known causes of sudden, destructive fires has been home appliances that use lithium-ion batteries, especially when they are used with cheap chargers that do not switch off when the battery is fully charged.”

There are so many devices now that people should be mindful off including hoverboards, scooters, and e-bikes. In 2016 the ACCC issued an interim ban on hoverboards and recalled some models after a series of fires, and only last month there was a tragic fire in Logan where a young father lost  his life when an e-scooter that was being charged in a dwelling exploded and caught fire.

Mr Lehmann says the recent tragic events are a reminder that it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to using electricity.

“Homeowners should act now to significantly reduce their risk of fire in the home.

“We urge all Australian homeowners to book an electrical safety audit with a licensed electrical contractor to assess the safety of their home,” Mr Lehmann said.

Master Electricians Australia have created a 5-point safety checklist that provides simple and actionable steps for purchasing and installing electrical appliances in the home.

Mr Lehmann said the checklist is to encourage Australians to reduce their risk of fire and electrocution.

“Electrical appliances can present a threat to lives and property if they aren’t used safely and properly,” he said.

The five-point checklist includes:

  • Purchase only Australian approved electrical appliances;
  • Charge battery appliances in open areas on hard surfaces;
  • Install safety switches on all final sub-circuits in your home;
  • Have interlinked smoke alarms installed in every room in the home and test them regularly.
  • Engage a licensed electrical contractor to undertake an electrical safety audit to assess your level of electrical safety in your home.

“Electrical appliances are staples in the modern home, and all we ask is for Australians to put in an extra bit of effort to ensure their loved ones are safe.”

Chris Lehmann is available for interview. Please phone The SAS Group on 07 3221 9222 or 0467 792 013.



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