- Most electrical appliances are designed for indoor use. Ensure any appliances you use outdoors are labelled as safe for outdoor use.
- Before using an appliance, check the cords, plug and overall condition of the appliance to make sure there is no sign of damage. If there is damage, don’t use the appliance.
- Electricity and water don’t mix. Wet electrical equipment can cause an electric shock, which may result in a serious injury or death. Never leave appliances, extension cords, powerboards, sockets and plugs where they may get wet and avoid using them in wet areas, such as near swimming pools.
- Check all power and extension cords have no signs of damage before using them.
- If using an electric blanket, check it for hot spots as it heats up. Don’t lie on it or put sheets on it until you are sure it’s operating safely, as it could burn you or start a fire. To store it, roll it up rather than folding it so you don’t damage the element wires.
- Don’t use electrical appliances outdoors in bare feet or just thongs – it increases your risk of electric shock.
- Never cut, drill or nail into walls, ceilings or floors unless you know the exact location of the electrical wiring. If necessary, get a licensed electrician to help to locate the wiring.
- Be extra cautious of wiring in homes built during the 1960s and earlier. Cables used at this time we mainly lead and rubber sheathed, or rubber insulated, and some had cotton coverings. As these insulation materials degrade, the risk of electric shocks or fires greatly increases. Old homes may also use timber ducts in the roof space or metal conduits to run cables, which can cause fires or electric shocks if damaged.
Electrical installations in any home can deteriorate with age. If you’ve not had the wiring checked since you bought the property or you are not sure when it was last checked, get a licensed electrician to inspect it.
Make sure your electrical appliances and home are protected by a switchboard or portable safety switch. If an appliance trips your safety switch, disconnect it and avoid using it until it can be checked by a licensed electrician, or replace it.
In the event that power has tripped at your property, here are some steps that you can safely follow yourself before calling RLP. However, electricity can be extremely dangerous so if you are ever unsure it is best to call a professional.
There are a number of reasons your power can trip, including:
- Water ingress, rain and storm damage.
- Faulty appliances
- Overloaded circuits
- Old/faulty/corroded electrical equipment and wiring
- Pests chewing through wiring
Overloading of circuits or faulty appliances can cause nuisance tripping. The first step is isolating the problem circuit that is tripping out your power.
- If it’s an RCD that has tripped you will need to find the circuit that has caused the problem. You can do this by turning off all the circuit breakers in your switchboard, re-setting the RCD and turning on the circuit breakers one at a time. When the RCD trips you have found the circuit that you have a problem with.
- Your power may have tripped due to a faulty appliance or a new appliance that has overloaded the circuit. Unplug all the appliances in your property. Remember things outside like electric gates or pumps, dishwashers, old heaters and fridges. Reset the power. If it turns back on, slowly plug back in all the appliances. When the power trips again you have more than likely found the cause. Before plugging appliances back in make sure there is no water damage, the power point is dry and there are no other signs of damage, i.e.; burning smell.