Home Owners And DIY-ers Urged Not To Ignore Cable Danger

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28 August 2014

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) today pleaded with home owners to check whether dangerous wiring had been installed in their homes, following the national recall announced by the ACCC this week.

And even home owners who had performed electrical work themselves are being urged to take urgent action to fix a life-threatening problem.

The ACCC has announced a recall of Infinity and Olsent brand electrical cables, warning of a risk of electrocution or fires due to the insulation becoming prematurely brittle.  The recall follows a year-long battle by Master Electricians to have the products recognised as dangerous.

MEA Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Richards said the safety recall was merely the first step, and would offer no protection to home owners unless they actively checked their homes for the dangerous products.

“The recall provides financial cover for the costs of removing and replacing cable that has been laid close to heat sources such as hot water systems or in accessible parts of any building, such as roof cavities, where people could come in contact with it.

“However, it is impossible for the suppliers of the product to know where it has been used.  That’s why, if you’ve had electrical work done in the affected time period, you need to have it checked.

“In the first instance you should get in touch with the contractor who did the work, and ask whether they have used these product brands.  If you can’t contact your contractor, it would be wise to have a qualified contractor examine any work that has been done.

“And if you have performed electrical work at home illegally, you still need to act on this warning.  The dangers of DIY electrical work are bad enough, but in this case there is a real likelihood that people could die in the years ahead.

“So if you’ve installed some of the recall cable yourself, now is the time to get a licensed electrical contractor or Master Electricians to come and take it out and replace it with new product that is both safe and legally installed.”

The recall applies to all sizes and configurations of TPS and Orange Round mains power cables sold under the Infinity and Olsent brands.  Both brands of cable were sold by Masters Home Improvement between March 2012 and September 2013, while Infinity cable was also sold by a number of other suppliers in the latter part of 2013.

Mr Richards urged home owners to ignore some ill-informed commentary following the recall that had suggested home owners who had used licenced electricians would not have the product installed.

“We know some of this product was sold through wholesalers and suppliers used by the electrical contracting industry.  We also know it was sold through the Masters chain, which caters to both licensed tradespeople and do-it-yourself handymen.

“So regardless of who did the work, if you’ve had electrical cable laid in your home between March 2012 and September 2013, you need to have it checked.

“Ignoring the problem is simply not an option.  The ACCC has found that this product will pose a threat to lives in the years to come, and it’s vital that we find it all and get rid of it now.”

For more information on the details of recall, visit www.recalls.gov.au