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Duncan      Armstrong
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The Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Electrical Work

Electrical wiring is complex, hazardous and requires a high level of knowledge about how it works and the safety precautions that must be taken in order to perform electrical work. This is why it’s a four year Electrical Apprenticeship to learn all the knowledge that is required to keep the electrician safe. The Qld Electrical Safety act  states that it’s illegal for people to perform their own electrical work unless they are a licensed electrician. Anyone caught doing this kind of work outside the authority of the regulations may be subject to serious fines and imprisonment. We at Safe & Sure are particularly passionate about electrical safety, why? because sadly most electricians can re-count a story of someone they have known in the trade either receiving serious electric shock and sadly some have even died. An electrician is ‘only as safe as the last electrician that was on that site’ and this is why it’s particularly important home owners don’t play with their electricity on their homes, they are not just risking their own families lives, but future tradesmen that attend.

The Electrical Safety act definition of  work not to be done by DIY includes: “covers tasks such as installing a new power point, replacing a light switch, replacing a batten holder with a new light fitting, repairing an appliance such as a heater, altering the location of an existing power point, replacing a light fitting with a ceiling fan, or constructing an extension lead and replacing a plug on the end of a lead”.

It is not against the law to purchase electrical accessories or appliances that need to be hard wired, but they must be connected by a licensed electrical contractor.

You might be interested to know the last reported year on electrical accidents was 2010, 25 Australians were electrocuted and 96% were either non‐ electrical workers or general public.

Electricity Can Kill – The fact is that performing electrical work is highly dangerous. Not only can it result in serious injury but actual death. Consider the fact that even licensed electricians assume risk when they are working with electricity at any level. These licensed professionals can legally investigate, evaluate, install, and repair anything dealing with electricity, yet even they have experienced scary hazards in their job.

Electrical work is just too dangerous for the average person to handle. That’s why the laws regarding dealing with electricity are so straightforward, clear, and concise. If you aren’t licensed, don’t touch anything electrical beyond changing your light bulbs.

It’s costly – Just because you think spending the money on licensed electrician is an unnecessary expense doesn’t mean you need to undertake the task yourself or hire someone (unlicensed) you know to do it for you. The costly part comes in if an individual gets hurt, killed, or does a shoddy job on your electrical. Then you have to turn to a licensed electrician and the costs could be much higher due to the damage done due to the poor workmanship.

Electricity Can Cause Fires – Another reason where ‘DIY’ seems cheap but will be costly if you experience a fire particularly as a result of the dodgy electrical work. Electrical Safety Offices and the Fire Service Forensics inspect the scene of fires to determine the cause, your insurance company may not pay on your claim if it’s identify there was illegal electrical work on the house. 

In addition, let’s not forget that if you hire an unlicensed person to do your work, you could be charged with an offence and have to pay hefty fines. Fines for an individual can be as high as $40,000 and two years imprisonment. If they happen to get injured or killed due to the work they do for you, you will likely be held responsible. The easy and best way to avoid these horrific instances is to hire a licensed professional electrician.

As a general rule, it’s important for all Australian residents to check with their local governing authorities regarding electrical work. Even though the general rule is that only a licensed electrician can perform electrical work, there could be other restrictions or regulations that have to be met before electrical work can be done. It’s not worth the risks, costs, and/or injuries to cut corners or break the law regarding electrical work.

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