New campaign calls for switch to safer switches

THE Queensland Government today launched a major campaign urging Queenslanders to install electrical safety switches installed on every circuit in the home.

Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Curtis Pitt said that the campaign's key message was that one safety switch may not be enough.

"It's true that most homes are protected by a safety switch on power point circuits but they're unlikely to be protected on other circuits," Mr Pitt said.

"But in the last six years alone there have been six electricity-related deaths in Queensland homes and these tragedies may have been prevented had a safety switch been operating on all circuits.

"There are clear differences between the functions of circuit breakers and safety switches, but it's safety switches that save lives.

"That's why we're launching this campaign to get the message out that one safety switch may not be enough to as many Queenslanders as we can.

"We want people to have more comprehensive protection from electric shock by installing safety switches on all circuits in their home including lights, air-conditioning, oven, hot water and pool equipment, even if they're on a separate tariff.

"This inexpensive action will protect your family and save lives."

Safety switches have been mandatory in new homes on power point circuits since 1992 and they must also be installed on power point circuits when older homes are sold or rented.

Mr Pitt said that the surest way to find out if you were protected on all the circuits in your home was to call a licensed electrician.

"They can advise if additional safety switches should be installed," he said.

"Safety switches turn off the power in a fraction of a second if a leakage of current is detected. This can happen if there is a faulty power point or electrical appliance, or accidentally hitting a live cable while drilling into walls."

For more information call the Electrical Safety Office on 1300 362 128 or visit: www.electricalsafety.qld.gov.au


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