Safety is paramount when dealing with extreme weather. Find out how to keep you and your family protected.
The storms that hit southeast Queensland over the weekend were some of the most destructive in recent memory. Massive hail stones wrecked cars and windows, as well as roof tiles and solar panels.
Damaged solar generating systems pose a hazard to residents and electrical contractors. If you suspect your system has been damaged please take the following precautions:
Contact a Master Electrician to arrange for the system to be inspected for operation and safety before returning the system to operation.
There are a number of simple steps home owners can take to protect personal safety, preserve electrical equipment, and deal with potential damage to the home’s electrical system.
Follow the checklist below to help get yourself and your property ready ahead of storm season.
The four key precautions to keep in mind:
Ensure any appliances are clear of any electrical faults to avoid any further loss or damage. A wet toaster or a damp hairdryer can give an electric shock or spark a fire so make sure all electrical appliances are declared 100 percent safe before they are plugged back in. These kinds of checks should be routine during flood clean-ups.
A Master Electrician will be able to accurately assess any electrical risks in your home, including testing household appliances for electrical faults or water damage.
Take care for fallen or damaged power lines. Fallen power lines are very dangerous and can be especially hard to see at night and when hidden in trees or other flood debris. Always assume fallen power lines are ‘live’, keep away and warn others to do the same. Report fallen power lines and trees or branches in contact with power lines to your electricity provider.
Have a Master Electrician test your safety switches, and if you don’t have one, your Master Electrician can install one for you. A safety switch is designed to cut the power off before electrocution can occur.
What to do after a flood
Flood repair fact sheet
Master Electricians Australia has developed a flood repair fact sheet to assist you in assessing your electrical components after a flood.
Coping without electricity
Interruptions to your electricity supply can seriously hamper your lifestyle. You will need to think of some alternative ways to look after yourself safely during electricity supply disruption in your area. The following are suggestions you may find useful, alternatively you may consider going to stay with family or friends until the power has been restored.
Helping your neighbours
Check on your neighbours to see if they need assistance, particularly if they are:
Contacting an electrician
Master Electricians are all experienced electrical contractors who complete a stringent, annual safety and quality audit, adhere to a code of practice, and offer customers a 12‐month guarantee on their work.
Book your local Master Electrician online or call 1300 889 198.
Information provided by www.ses.nsw.gov.au
Before purchasing a generator you must consider what it will be used for. Will you be using a portable generator to take camping or will it be used as a standby generator for your home in case of a power outage?
You will also need to take into consideration the size of generator needed to supply the items you would like to power.
Type of generator
The first question to ask yourself is will the generator be:
If you will be purchasing a generator for use with plug-in equipment like hand-held equipment (e.g. a drill) you will need to purchase a generator that incorporates an RCD (Safety Switch) or is an inverter generator.
If you will be purchasing a generator to plug in or hard wire directly into your home via a changeover switch, an RCD should not be incorporated into the generator. An inverter generator would be the most suitable type, like the Honda EU range or Yamaha EF range for example. In this case the equipment in your home will be controlled by the RCD’s installed in your switchboard.
If you are using a plug in type generator the supply lead from the generator to your house will need to be the correct size for the generator – if unsure check with your electrical contractor.
The supply lead will also need to be installed to be protected against any mechanical damage, for example installed in a suitable wiring enclosure.
Suicide lead fact sheetThis fact sheet has been created to highlight the dangers of the use of extension leads with a male plug fitted to both ends commonly called a suicide lead, to connect a generator to a house.
Where to put the generator
Gas or fume poisoning is not to be taken lightly, therefore generators need to be placed in well ventilated areas, preferably outside where exhaust gases, smoke or fumes cannot reach dangerous levels or enter any areas that people may occupy. Generators must also not be exposed to the weather unless they are suitably protected.
Care must be taken with the positioning of the generator to make sure refuelling can be performed easily. High temperature surfaces or equipment that may emit arcs or sparks may cause ignition when refuelling.
Always read and follow your manufacturer’s instructions before using your generator and make sure your generator is properly maintained so it is ready for use when it is needed.
Earth stakes are not required or recommended on a generator as per AS 3010. If unsure please check with your electrical contractor.
In most cases the best all-purpose generator is an inverter type generator but if you have questions about the type of generator that is best for you, you should consult your local Master Electrician.
Recent bushfire conditions have resulted in very poor air quality. Queensland Health has compiled the following recommendations for that affected communities across the country.
Protecting your health
Dial Triple Zero (000) for Police, Fire and Ambulance in an emergency.
State Emergency Service
Dial 132 500 for help with a damaged roof, rising flood water, trees fallen on buildings, or storm damage.
Non-urgent medical help
Dial 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
Bureau of Meteorology
Provides information on Australian Government assistance packages following a disaster. Includes up to date public information messages, relevant free call numbers and links to other related websites and information.
Radio and social media
Tune in to your local ABC radio station to stay informed during severe weather events and natural disasters. In Queensland, follow the QPS Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates.
Contact Master Electricians Australia for more information
Call 1300 889 198 or to book a Master Electrician to assist you, visit our Master Electricians Online Booking Service
Master Electricians are the benchmark for excellence. Why waste your time searching for electrical contractors when we can do it for you? We’ll quickly put your local Master Electrician in contact with you.