News & Views

31st May 2016

NECAs Winter Safety Message

31 May 2016

With winter arriving late this year, many Australians will start to get out their electric blankets and heaters.  NECA therefore suggests that now is a good time to check that all electrical appliances are in good working order.

“It’s always better to be safe than sorry,” says Suresh Manickam, NECA CEO.  “Safety is NECA’s key driver and we encourage everyone to check any appliance that has been stored away or recently purchased before using it.  And if you see anything that doesn’t look quite right – like a damaged or slightly frayed cord, make sure that a qualified electrician checks it out.”

As recently as May 3rd, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have issued a Product Safety Recall Notice for a fan heater sold nationally through Target. The heater has been recalled due to a potential fire risk and the ACCC is urging the immediate cease of use and the return of this product. Target Australia is offering a full refund.   

It’s essential for consumers to be careful when purchasing and using electrical products and we recommend the following points for users of electrical products:

  • Have electrical equipment checked at least once a year;
  • Don’t let children sleep with an electric blanket switched on in case there is any liquid       spillage – which could cause a nasty electric shock, or worse;
  • Ensure a heater is working properly – by testing it during the day when you are at home, before leaving it on overnight.

NECA also suggests the following 10 helpful safety checks:

1.     If you are buying new heaters or any other electrical products, only buy Australian compliant products (and if in doubt, ask for verification).

2.     Only buy electrical products from reputable stores and check for the compliance mark or approval number. Check out: http://neca.asn.au/content/does-it-comply-3

3.     Be particularly vigilant when buying products manufactured overseas as they may not meet Australian standards – which means they may not be safe to use in Australia.

4.     Remember that if you are buying anything online, it may not be compatible with Australian products and can cause electric shocks and/ or be a fire hazard.

5.     If you are using equipment that has not been used for some months check that there is no exposed wiring.  And if you notice any exposed or damaged wiring, contact your local licensed electrician – don’t try to fix it yourself.

6.     If you are using appliances that you have purchased abroad always have them checked to be sure they are compatible.

7.     Take a few minutes to explain electrical safety to children – every season, so that they understand not to play with electrical items such as plug boards.

8.     Never modify or attempt to repair any lighting equipment yourself – always get a qualified electrician to do the work.

9.     Have safety switches installed on all electrical circuits in your home – safety switches are an additional safety measure that can prevent electrocution.

10.   If in doubt, ask a qualified electrician

-ENDS-

Media enquiries and interviews

Barry Jackson – National Marketing and Communications

E barry.jackson@neca.asn.au

D 02 9962 6904

M 0457 767 328

 

Notes for editors

  1. NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
  2. NECA is run by electrical contractors, for electrical contractors.
  3. We have 5,000 contracting companies as members – and they in turn employ over 50,000 people Australia-wide.
  4. NECA employs almost 350 people across its seven chapters (Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia).
  5. The chapters provide NECA members with a range of services including: Industrial Relations, Health & Safety, Legal, Technical, Training, business-support services, product discounts and advocacy representation in Canberra with Government, Industry bodies and Training bodies.
  6. NECA wholly-owns its Legal firm, Group Training and the NECA Colleges (in WA) and EcoSmart Electricians – and has joint ventures with a superannuation company (NSW) and one of the national cabling registrars (ACRS).
  7. NECA also employ around 2,000 apprentice electricians and provides training to a further 2,000.
  8. For further information go to www.neca.asn.au.

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