Electricians talk fire safety

Master Electricians Australia Victorian manager Simon Tengende (right) inspects safety equipment with local electricians in Bendigo. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Master Electricians Australia Victorian manager Simon Tengende (right) inspects safety equipment with local electricians in Bendigo. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

KEEPING on top of the ever increasing number of appliances connected in homes and offices has become a primary concern for electricians, according to Master Electricians Australia (MEA).

With the National Broadband Network to allow for even more appliances in the coming years, overloading mains could pose future fire risks.

MEA Victoria state manager Simon Tengende hosted a forum in Bendigo on Wednesday morning outlining the latest regulations for electricians and advice for residents to avoid house fires.

He said recent house fires near Bendigo highlighted the need to keep locals informed on the best fire safety practices.

"Some mains simply can't take the load," Mr Tengende said.

"Even though those fires weren't caused by electrical faults, anything that could be a risk to the public is a concern.

"A lot of old appliances might no longer comply with Australian standards.

"It's extremely important that people recognise just how deadly such appliances can be if they're not in line with Australian standards, or aren't used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions."

More than 20 Bendigo electricians spoke with the MEA about new safety standards which came in from June 1, as well as evolving challenges facing the industry.

Mr Tengende said they wanted safety switches to be compulsory in Australian homes.

"They cut power in just milliseconds, which is faster than the critical phase of a heartbeat, and fast enough to stop electrocution or fires in the event of a faulty electrical item malfunctioning," he said.

"The new standards centre around switchboards and ensuring the overall safety of the end user."

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