Lack of electrical maintenance is a major contributing factor in electrical accidents today.
Early warning signs that electrical maintenance is needed are:
Constantly tripping safety switches
Tingles or zaps from appliances (stop using these appliances immediately)
Leads that are worn or frayed
Missing or broken guards or covers
Any of these signs indicate the appliance or machinery needs to be attended to immediately. Damaged appliances are dangerous. But, it is equally important to have damaged or problem electrical appliances attended to by a qualified electrician. Repair with care - electrical repair is only for qualified electricians.
DANGERS OF ELECTRICITY
Staying safe around electricity is everyone's responsibility.
You should watch out for yourself, your friends and your family.
Electricity is part of our everyday life - designed to provide us with a safe and reliable source of energy. Most of the time, electricity is our friend, but sometimes it can be dangerous. This happens when we're exposed to it in ways we were not meant to be. We can avoid these hazards by following some simple rules.
WATER AND ELECTRICITY DO NOT MIX
Remember if your hands tingle when you put them into the sink it may mean the water is conducting electricity and something is wrong as you may need to call an electrician.
When you have a bath, there should be nothing electrical anywhere near you. In a bath, the metal plughole and the plumbing is connected to the earth, making it a conductor of electricity. This means if a household appliance such as a light or hair dryer fell into the bath, whoever was in it would also become a conductor of electricity.
Wherever you are, if you get into trouble call out for help and make sure not to touch anything. Turn the electricity off at the main power switch in your switchboard.
Water can conduct electricity because electrons can flow by hitching a ride on atoms and molecules in the water. Water contains dissolved substances, such as salt. These greatly increase the ability of water to conduct electricity. That's why electricity passes easily through our bodies - because our bodies contain water and salt. This is also why it's important to keep water away from electrical appliances.
Be careful around electricity poles and wires when you play
Remember if you fly a kite and it gets caught in the overhead powerlines, live electricity could travel down the string and seriously hurt you. So be careful!
Never climb a tree that is near powerlines. Look up before you climb!
After a storm if you see some fallen powerlines, stay well clear of them. There is a strong chance they are still "alive".
We all like to play outside, but there are electrical hazards that we need to know about. Electricity poles and wires are all around us. They can be above us, next to us, and even below us. Whenever you can, play in open spaces away from electricity poles, towers and powerlines.
Metal is a conductor of electricity and can be dangerous
Be careful when climbing a ladder at home. The power lines connected to our house are usually protected, but they can be damaged by rubbing against the gutter or a tree, or through exposure to the sun.
If a person is on a metal ladder and touches the exposed line, the electricity will travel through their body to the earth.
We all come into contact with metal objects on a daily basis - turning on a tap, playing with our computers and toys and even using the fridge. Because metal conducts electricity, you have to be very careful when you use metal items.
Stay away from electricity substations
Remember - Sometimes it's tempting to ignore signs and fences around substations. Remember, the warnings are there for everyone's protection, so make sure you follow them!
Substations contain special equipment with invisible hazards. You don't even have to touch anything to get hurt.
Just being too close to some substation equipment can be dangerous, and may even kill you!
You will find electricity substations and power equipment all over the place. They are behind fences, in buildings, or on the side of the footpath, and most have danger signs. Substations transform the voltage generated at power stations so it can be distributed to homes, schools and businesses. Sometimes they are near parks and play areas. Substations are safe, but you must follow the rules.
If you see a dangerous situation involving electricity, tell an adult!
Know what to do in an electrical emergency
If you come across an emergency involving electricity Ensure your own safety
Turn the power off at the power point and remove the plug (if you are able to do so)
We all hope that we are never in an emergency involving electricity, but if we are, it's important to know what to do.
DIAL BEFORE YOU DIG!
Before you or your family do any major digging in the yard you should ring Dial Before you Dig on 1100 to make sure there are no underground cables near your property.
If you hit a buried power line you could be electrocuted, as well as possibly interrupting the power to your suburb.
Tempted as you may be to do unauthorised electrical work and repairs around the home, stop and think about your family.
It's just not worth it. Unauthorised electrical work is illegal and you can be fined up to $1,500.
Also you can void your home insurance policy if it is found that damage has occurred as a result of unauthorised electrical work.