Safety at home
We urge you to always take care when using electricity in and around the house as an electric shock can be fatal. Most electrical accidents happen inside the home. Protect your family by installing a safety switch, and taking care with appliances, cords and power points.
- Have a licensed electrician check your home's wiring regularly, especially in older homes.
- If you get an electric shock from taps or water pipes, switch off the power at the main switch and call Western Power immediately on 13 13 51. This could mean that your house is unsafe because the wiring is faulty.
- Water conducts electricity. Never use electrical appliances where they could come into contact with water and ensure that they are not positioned where children may be able to pull them into the bath, shower or basin.
- Don't attach swings, clotheslines or hanging baskets on beams or trees that have electrical wires attached to them or have powerlines close to them.
- Switch the power off before changing light bulbs.
- Switch off appliances when not in use and before removing the plug from the power point. Some appliances such as televisions may still have electricity running through them even though they may appear to be switched off.
- Never use a faulty appliance. If an appliance fails to operate, blows a fuse, overheats, sparks or gives you an electric shock, disconnect the appliance and have it checked by a licensed electrical contractor.
- Service appliances according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Don't leave appliances such as heaters, electric blankets, stoves and ovens on when you are not at home.
- Never touch appliances or switches with wet hands.
- If an appliance falls into water dispose of it immediately (remove the cord so it can't be used again).
- Never dislodge toast from a toaster with a metal knife or other metal objects.
Power points, plugs and cords
Damaged or wrongly wired plugs and cords are the most common cause of electrical accidents in and around the home.
- Switch off the power before removing a plug from a power point.
- Always remove a plug from the power point by firmly grasping the plug. Do not pull the cord or push your fingers between the plug and the power point. If you accidentally touch the pins of the plug while pulling it out you may receive an electric shock.
- Cover exposed power points within reach of children with plastic safety inserts.
- Don't wipe power points or switches with a wet cloth or spray them with household cleaners.
- Don't attempt to repair loose, cracked or broken power point switches. Call a licensed electrician.
- Never use a double adaptor in a power point. If you need to connect more than one appliance to a single power point, use a power board.
- Be aware of how much current the appliances you plug into a power board may draw. If more than 10 amps is being drawn through the power board, it may overheat and cause a fire.
- Use power boards with overload protection, as this will prevent it from overheating.
- Replace worn, damaged or frayed cords, especially extension cords. Do not use PVC insulation tape to repair them.
- Unwind long cords fully before use to prevent overheating.
- Don't run long cords across roads or driveways because they are likely to be run over or damaged.
- Make sure that doors and windows do not close on cords.
- Don't run extension cords across wet grass, pool areas or wet floors.
- Use a portable safety switch unit with extension cords and power tools.
- When using electric power tools make sure that the cord is positioned so that it cannot be cut or damaged.