Electrical Safety

Use our safety checklists and find important contact numbers to keep your family safe.


  • Solar power systems safety recall

    Avanco and PVPower DC Isolator safety advice

    The Queensland Government has warned that some isolators used in solar electricity systems have an internal fault that can lead to overheating and fires.

    How do I know if I have a defective product?

    The defective brands and models have been sold since January 1, 2012.  They include:

    • Avanco branded DC isolators (model numbers AV/DC4P25A, AV/DC2P25A, AV/DC4P25AUB, AV/DC2P625AU, AV/DC2P25AU, AV/DC2/2P25AU, AV/DC2/2P125AU, AV/DC4P25AU, AV/DC4P25AUS, and AV/DC4P25AUT)
    • PvPower branded DC isolators (model number XPDCISO1000V32A).

    The isolators are a dial with a red switch with a yellow background around the switch. Avanco brand switches have the brand on the front.  Other defective isolators will look similar but may not have a brand name on them.

    What should I do if I have these products installed?

    If you have these isolators installed you should shut down your system immediately. Most solar systems have the shut down procedure listed near the inverter or main switchboard.

    If you are unsure, check your operating manual or invoice, or call your installer.

    Do I need an electrician to shut my system down?

    Your personal safety must be your highest priority.  Please take care not to place yourself in danger while attempting to shut down the system, particularly if your switch is on the roof of your home.

    You do not need an electrician to shut the system down. However, you should seek assistance if you are unsure of how to safely carry out the shut down procedure. Once the system has been properly shut down it is electrically safe.

    What do I do once the system has been shut down? 

    You should arrange for the faulty product to be replaced urgently.

    If you have the PVPower brand you should contact DKSH or your installer. The recall and contact details for DKSH can be found at www.recalls.gov.au/

    If you have the Avanco brand please contact Master Electricians Australia on 1300 889 198 for assistance.

  • Pool safety

    There is never any hesitation when it comes to getting the car or the boat serviced or repaired, but all too often, servicing the pool gets overlooked.

    Pools are rated as number three on the list of the largest capital purchases we make in our lifetime, with a house in first position, and a car in close second. Out of these three, the car is the only one that tends to receive regular maintenance and servicing.

    Houses and pools have electrical wiring and plumbing systems which require periodic maintenance, but generally owners only contact an electrician when something goes wrong. Of course, the problem with this approach is that it poses a safety risk and may even cost lives if not kept in check.

    Recently there have been a number of near-misses reported concerning electrical faults in pool pumps, lights and heaters. That’s why it’s important to make sure your pool meets electrical safety standards.

    What do I need to look out for?

    When installing or servicing a pool, your electrical contractor has an obligation under electrical safety legislation to ensure that:

    • The way the electrical equipment or electrical installation is installed or repaired is electrically safe
    • The process followed for installing or repairing the electrical equipment or electrical installation ensures that, once installed or repaired, it will be electrically safe
    • After the electrical equipment or electrical installation is installed or repaired, the electrical worker tests and examines it to ensure it is electrically safe.

    For Electricians:

    Master Electricians Australia provides members with guidelines for inspecting and testing low voltage electrical pool installations. Refer to the Member Resources area for more information.

    Home owners guide – Swimming & spa pool equipotential bonding

  • Electrical safety in rental properties

    The Electrical Safety Office has developed two new resources specifically for tenants and property owners in Queensland:

    The guides provide useful advice about:

    • Safety switches
    • Smoke alarms
    • The dangers of DIY
    • Roof spaces
    • Tingles and shocks
    • Electrical appliances and equipment
    • Overhead powerlines, service lines and underground lines
    • Solar
    • Outages, brown outs and surges
    • Electricity accounts.
  • Fire safety resources

    Fire safety is a very important area for electrical contractors and homeowners to be aware of.

    With the next transitional implementation date of January 2022 fast approaching for the updated Queensland smoke alarm laws, it is timely for everyone concerned with domestic properties to have access to up to date resources relating to fire safety, smoke alarms, firefighting equipment, etc.

    The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has developed an extensive range of resources for everyone including contractors, homeowners, tenants, property agents and children.

    Visit the QFES download library for more information.


  • Christmas safety checklist

    December is a time for Christmas cheer with many homes and gardens turned into spectacular festive displays.

    During this time it’s important to remember electrical safety. Too often decorative lighting isn’t installed correctly, or no electrical safety measures have been considered.

    Master Electricians Australia urges everyone to be aware of common sense electrical safety measures to keep you and your family safe.

    • Check For Recalls
    • Check the Federal Government’s product safety recalls website to ensure Christmas lights have not been deemed unsafe by regulators.  Even reputable retailers occasionally need to recall dangerous items.

    The only way to be truly safe is to ensure all lights are connected to power points controlled by a safety switch. A safety switch will detect any imbalance of power associated with electric shock and stop the flow of electrical current in less time than a heartbeat.

    Adding a safety switch to a switchboard costs a lot less than many of the more elaborate lighting products that many homeowners buy for their Christmas lights displays, and can give you the peace of mind you are safe from an electrical accident this happy season.

    For those with extensive lighting displays consider having a Master Electrician or licensed contractor install additional outdoor power points, rather than overloading existing circuits.

    Christmas safety checklist

    • Check for an Australian Approval number when purchasing lights such as Q12345, V01294, or N12345
    • Visit www.recalls.gov.au to check for any recalled Christmas lights
    • Ensure you have safety switches installed – preferably on all circuits in your home, but definitely on the circuits powering your Christmas lights
    • When installing lights outdoors, only use lights designed for external use. Generally these types will have a transformer
    • Use extra low voltage lights – look for lights with a transformer
    • Always turn off outdoor lights during rain or storms
    • Ensure your outdoor connections are weatherproofed
    • Do not piggyback double adapters or power boards
    • Always keep clear of powerlines, swimming pools, driveways, and walkways
    • Go solar if you can – it’s better for the environment, and safer for you
    • Secure outdoor lights to fixtures and keep out of children’s reach
    • Follow the instructions and recommendations of manufacturer
  • Winter fire safety checklist

    As the winter season quickly approaches it’s important to take extra precautions and be vigilant with fire safety.

    Data from all Australian Fire Services shows that during winter there is an increased risk of house fires due to higher usage rates of electrical appliances. Sadly, this in turn results in an increased mortality rate from house fires.

    To help identify the risks involved with winter house fires we have developed the simple safety checklist below so you can make sure your home is safe and free of any appliances or other items that may start a fire.

    • Make sure all items meet Australian standards and are not damaged. If they are, throw them away.
    • Make sure you have an adequate number of fire alarms throughout your house and test them regularly.
    • Check all electric blankets for fraying and damaged cords.
    • Make sure that all electric heaters are not kept within 1 metre of other objects.
    • Always make sure all heaters are turned off as soon as you leave the room or house.
    • Do not piggyback cords on double adapters or power boards.
    • Never leave children unattended near candles, matches, or electric heaters and flammable items
      Always handle open flames with care and extinguish them before you leave the room or go to bed.
    • If you have a fire place make sure the chimney is kept clean with a screen in front of it.
    • Never leave cooking unattended and always be alert and aware of what’s on the stove.
    • Always make sure you have an evacuation plan prepared and practiced in case of a fire.
  • A buying guide for generators

    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.

    Generators: Buying Guide

    Type of generator

    The first question to ask yourself is will the generator be:

    • Used with directly connected plug-in appliances; or
    • Connected via a plug and appliance inlet to your home via a changeover switch (installed by a qualified electrical contractor); or
    • A hard wired connection to your home via a changeover switch (installed by a qualified electrical contractor).

    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.

    The lead
    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.

    Other information

    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.

  • Electrical safety contact numbers

    Dial Triple Zero (000) for Police, Fire and Ambulance in an emergency. Keep the contact information of your local electrician handy in case you need to contact them urgently. If you need to report faulty or unsafe electrical work, contact the number listed below in your state.

    Planning and Land Authority
    02 6207 1923

    Office of Fair Trading
    13 32 20

    Department of Justice: Consumer Affairs
    1800 019 319

    Electrical Safety Office
    1300 650 662

    Office of Consumer and Business Affairs Product Safety/Trade Standards
    08 8152 0732

    Department of Justice: Workplace Standards
    03 6233 7657

    Energy Safe Victoria
    03 9203 9700

    Department of Employee and Consumer Protection
    1300 30 40 54