General Electrical Advice

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  • Why you should always use a Licenced Electrican

    An average of 15 people are killed in preventable electrical accidents in Australia each year, with hundreds more treated or hospitalised for a range of electricity-related injuries. Electricity does not discriminate, so the risk and potential danger of electric shock or even electrocution is there for anyone, no matter how much training they have received.

    This is why it is always important to use a licensed electrician when you need electrical work done in your home or workplace. A licensed electrician will ensure the work done is carried out safely and meets the relevant safety standards.

    Using a licensed electrician reduces the risk of fire, electric shock or any other electric incidents occurring in your home. This means you and your family can rest easy knowing you are protected.

    Want To Check Your Electrician Is Licensed? Use the links below. It’s as simple as that!

  • What to do in a blackout

    Coping without electricity

    Interruptions to your electricity supply can seriously hamper your lifestyle. You will need to think of some alternative ways to look after yourself safely during electricity supply disruption in your area. The following are suggestions you may find useful, alternatively you may consider going to stay with family or friends until the power has been restored.

    Keeping warm

    • Multiple layers of clothing will trap body heat more efficiently than one bulky layer
    • Wear a hat as the body loses heat through the scalp
    • Close doors, windows and blinds to maintain heat
    • Use a wood heater if you have one, but ensure that it is not left unattended and is extinguished before going to bed.

    Preparing food

    • Cook foods outside on the barbecue
    • Never use a barbeque inside a home, tent or caravan
    • Use foods that don’t require cooking, such as vegetables, tinned meats, bread and breakfast cereals.

    Washing safely

    • Heat water outside on the barbecue. Never use a barbecue inside a home, tent or caravan
    • Take special care when heating water in an unfamiliar way. Add some cool water to prevent burns
    • If you need to carry containers of hot or boiling water, don’t overfill them and make sure you insulate the handles to prevent scalds from steam. Keep children away when carrying boiling water
    • Before bathing, check the temperature of the water. Don’t attempt to top up with hot or boiling water when someone is already sitting in the bath.


    • Torches are much safer sources of light than candles. Make sure you have a good stock of batteries
    • If you must use candles, make sure they are on a secure base, do not leave them unattended or in places where they can fall or set alight flammable items. Keep them away from draughts and children
    • Be aware of fire hazards – keep candles away from curtains and other flammable objects
    • Extinguish all candles before leaving the room or going to bed.

    Helping your neighbours

    Check on your neighbours to see if they need assistance, particularly if they are:

    • Older people living at home by themselves
    • People with physical or sensory disabilities
    • People with a chronic illness
    • Single parents with young children.

    General suggestions

    • Switch off all electrical appliances, especially those that have heating elements
    • Unplug “surge-sensitive’ equipment, such as computers
    • Keep one light switch turned on so you know when the power returns
    • Turn on a battery operated radio and listen to a local radio station for information.

    Contacting an electrician

    Master Electricians are all experienced electrical contractors who complete a stringent, annual safety and quality audit, adhere to a code of practice, and offer customers a 12‐month guarantee on their work.

    Book your local Master Electrician online or call 1300 889 198.

    Information provided by

  • A buying guide for generators

    Before purchasing a generator you must consider what it will be used for. Will you be using a portable generator to take camping or will it be used as a standby generator for your home in case of a power outage?

    You will also need to take into consideration the size of generator needed to supply the items you would like to power.

    Type of generator

    The first question to ask yourself is will the generator be:

    • Used with directly connected plug-in appliances; or
    • Connected via a plug and appliance inlet to your home via a changeover switch (installed by a qualified electrical contractor); or
    • A hard wired connection to your home via a changeover switch (installed by a qualified electrical contractor).

    If you will be purchasing a generator for use with plug-in equipment like hand-held equipment (e.g. a drill) you will need to purchase a generator that incorporates an RCD (Safety Switch) or is an inverter generator.

    If you will be purchasing a generator to plug in or hard wire directly into your home via a changeover switch, an RCD should not be incorporated into the generator. An inverter generator would be the most suitable type, like the Honda EU range or Yamaha EF range for example. In this case the equipment in your home will be controlled by the RCD’s installed in your switchboard.

    The lead
    If you are using a plug in type generator the supply lead from the generator to your house will need to be the correct size for the generator – if unsure check with your electrical contractor.

    The supply lead will also need to be installed to be protected against any mechanical damage, for example installed in a suitable wiring enclosure.

    Suicide lead fact sheetThis fact sheet has been created to highlight the dangers of the use of extension leads with a male plug fitted to both ends commonly called a suicide lead, to connect a generator to a house.

    Where to put the generator

    Gas or fume poisoning is not to be taken lightly, therefore generators need to be placed in well ventilated areas, preferably outside where exhaust gases, smoke or fumes cannot reach dangerous levels or enter any areas that people may occupy.  Generators must also not be exposed to the weather unless they are suitably protected.

    Care must be taken with the positioning of the generator to make sure refuelling can be performed easily.  High temperature surfaces or equipment that may emit arcs or sparks may cause ignition when refuelling.

    Other information

    Always read and follow your manufacturer’s instructions before using your generator and make sure your generator is properly maintained so it is ready for use when it is needed.

    Earth stakes are not required or recommended on a generator as per AS 3010.  If unsure please check with your electrical contractor.

    In most cases the best all-purpose generator is an inverter type generator but if you have questions about the type of generator that is best for you, you should consult your local Master Electrician.

  • What work should an Electrician perform?

    While electrical problems are often inconvenient, almost all electrical problems require a qualified electrical contractor to solve them in a safe and reliable way.

    For your own safety, do not try to do any of the following yourself:

    • Repair any electrical appliances
    • Replace a power point or light switch
    • Change any pre-existing electrical wiring
    • Install your own electrical wiring
    • Change a plug on a lead.

    These tasks may seem simple enough but without the correct training you will not be aware of all the risks you are exposed to by working with these electrical devices. Electricians are trained to assess the risk of a situation and know where is safe to work and act accordingly, ensuring your safety at all times. Around your home, there are some simple jobs that are safe for you to perform, such as:

    • Resetting a safety switch or circuit breaker
    • Changing an electric light bulb or tube
    • Replacing a fuse
    • Changing a starter in a fluorescent light fitting.

    When you are performing any of these tasks make sure the electricity is turned off and remember to take extreme care because electricity can injure or kill.

    Every home should have a safety switch; if your home does not have one, contact a Master Electrician and have one installed as soon as possible. These devices are cheap, simple to install, and save many lives every year.

    While using electricity please take care. Use common sense to avoid risk and to remain safe. Do not attempt any electrical work that should be performed by a qualified electrical contractor.

  • What's the difference between and Electrician and an Electrical Contractor?

    An electrician is known as an electrical worker or an individual qualified tradesperson. An electrical contractor is a suitably trained individual or business that holds the required insurances and can employ an electrical worker. Electricians are typically not allowed to perform work for the public unless under the employment of an electrical contractor.

    Electrical contracting businesses are licensed and insured to perform electrical services such as:

    • Install a ceiling fan or power point
    • Install or alter a switchboard or safety switch
    • Install a split cycle air conditioner
    • Repair a washing machine
    • Maintain a processing plant
    • Install or alter wiring or fixed appliances in a building.

    While electrical contractors and electricians both hold licences, only electrical contractors hold the required insurances to properly and safely operate a business. These insurances protect the employees and home owners/business owners from insurance liabilities.

    These requirements vary from state to state.