Use our safety checklists and find important contact numbers to keep your family safe.
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:
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.
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:
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.
The Electrical Safety Office has developed two new resources specifically for tenants and property owners in Queensland:
The guides provide useful advice about:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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