Electricians Back Queensland Campaign For Safer Ceiling Spaces

Master Electricians Australia RSS Feed

16 May 2014

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) today endorsed the Queensland Government’s new public awareness campaign designed to warn people about the dangers of working in ceiling spaces.

MEA Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Richards said many homeowners were unaware of the safety risks – including the risk of electrocution – associated with entering ceilings.

“The ceilings of our homes are simply dangerous places to be,” Mr Richards said.

“We’ve had that reinforced to us in an all-too-tragic way through the loss of young lives in the home insulation program, and the ramifications of that tragedy are still being felt today as the Royal Commission continues its work.

“My advice to any resident is simply to avoid climbing into your ceiling space unless it is absolutely necessary.  There are very real and serious dangers there, potentially from old cables or loose electrical fittings that may have degraded over time.

“We know from our work in repairing the foil insulation problems that one in five homes has some form of existing fault.  A trip into the ceiling space can too easily turn to tragedy if you come into contact with a loose electrical fitting.

“And that’s not to mention other dangers such as spiders, snakes, asbestos, dust or heat.

“If you must go into the ceiling, be certain to turn off the power supply and steer clear of any solar power cabling, which will still be live during the day.  But if you don’t know what you’re doing, you really should leave it to the experts.”

Mr Richards also urged home owners to consider having safety switches installed on every circuit of their home, in order to prevent electrical injuries and fatalities.

“A safety switch will stop the flow of electricity faster than the critical phase of a heartbeat.  But while many homes have them fitted on power circuits, and some on the lights, very few homes have them on every circuit.

“For a very small investment you can buy yourself much greater safety and peace of mind.”

Mr Richards congratulated the State Government on following through with one of the key recommendations of the Coroner’s report into the insulation fatalities.

“This will be a very valuable campaign to help Queenslanders to understand the real danger of climbing into your own roof space.  We congratulate the Government for its commitment, and we hope to see other states following this example.”