Consumer safety campaigns from Building and Energy

7 May 2024

NECA WA encourages members to spread awareness of Building and Energy's electrical safety campaigns.

Building and Energy’s consumer electrical safety campaigns are targeting three high-priority topics this year: RCD testing, don’t DIY and safe appliances. 

Boosting community awareness of electrical safety is a core function of Building and Energy. Recent activities include a high-profile campaign about reporting all shocks and tingles to the network operator – “You can’t see an electrical fault, but you can feel one” – and stickers reminding everyone to turn off the mains power before entering a roof space.

This year, WA’s electrical safety regulator is rolling out three campaigns to provide potentially life-saving advice to consumers. The subjects were determined by analysis of accidents, investigations, inquiries and website activity.

Testing RCDs

Building and Energy is sharing messages on social media, streaming services and other platforms to encourage testing of residual current devices (RCDs) and awareness of their vital role in electric shock protection. 

A new video (available at DEMIRS’ YouTube channel) and handy guide (at demirs.wa.gov.au) show how to check an RCD by pressing the test button in the meter box. 
Related media interviews highlighted that although the widespread installation of RCDs has markedly reduced electric shocks, the switches must be regularly tested to ensure they work mechanically and electrically when they are needed the most.

Don’t DIY

The tragic death of a WA father after handling a homemade high-voltage appliance was a stark reminder of the risks of DIY electrical work. The person who constructed the wood art device later pleaded guilty to breaching WA’s electricity licensing regulations following prosecution by Building and Energy.

A campaign over winter and early spring will advise consumers to never do their own electrical or gas fitting work and instead engage a licensed electrical contractor or a licensed gasfitter. 
The community will be reminded that DIY electrical and gas work can result in injuries and deaths as well as property damage and liability issues. 

Safe appliances

The final campaign, due to start in October, focuses on the risks of unapproved and potentially dangerous electrical appliances. 
Advice for consumers will include being cautious about purchasing electrical items from overseas and checking for the regulatory compliance mark, showing independent approval for use in Australia. 

More information is available at https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/announcements/campaigns-energise-electrical-safety-awareness.