Workers, helpers and homeowners are being urged to clean up safely following Queensland’s recent deluge which has left many properties and businesses flooded.
Head of the state’s Electrical Safety Office Donna Heelan said the best way to check the electrical safety of your property is to use a licensed electrician to inspect and carry out verification tests on your switchboard, wiring, equipment and appliances that may have been water damaged.
“If there’s any chance they’ve been damaged by water, stay away from switchboards, and warn others to do the same,” Ms Heelan said.
“If the rain has got into your roof space, make sure you turn off the power before you go up there to check for damage.
“Have a licensed electrician check any electrical appliances or equipment you reckon may have been submerged or water-logged.
“And never, ever be tempted to do your own electrical work. The golden rule is never, under any circumstances, do it yourself as this is potentially life-threatening.”
During extreme weather events, electricity supplies are often cut, and portable generators used.
However, Mr Heelan recommends these portable power supplies should only be used for essential equipment, such as fridges.
“Only connect your generator to your house if you have had an electrical contractor fit a proper generator change-over switch with the appropriate generator socket,” she said.
“Do not connect a generator to your house using a power point on a power circuit or any other connection point.
“This is illegal and dangerous to your family, your neighbours and to any emergency workers in the area attempting to restore power. It could energise the powerlines and cause an electric shock to anyone coming into contact with them.
“Plugging the generator straight into your house circuit could cause the generator to fail and lead to a fire or damage the generator and circuits.”
Other handy tips for safely operating a generator include;
- there is a very real risk of suffocation from carbon monoxide exhaust gases - always run the generator outdoors or in a well-ventilated area
- ensure all leads used to connect your generator are in good working condition (no damage to plugs or lead and no exposed wires)
- only use power boards that are protected by an overload cut out
- place leads and power boards so they will not be stepped on, tripped over, or fall into water
- don’t exceed the generator’s load rating and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Read more about keeping your family and your workers safe during flood clean up on the WorkSafe Queensland website.
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