EnergySafety investigates two electrocutions

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The electrocutions of two men in Western Australia at the weekend were a tragedy which has dismayed the Government’s electricity regulatory authority.

An elderly man received a fatal shock in his back yard and a second man died while working in the ceiling area of a home.

“All EnergySafety staff join me in extending our sincere condolences to the family and friends of these men,” Director of Energy Safety Ken Bowron said today.

“Sadly, these deaths have taken place just a few weeks after the launch of a major campaign to raise awareness about the need to install residual current devices (RCDs) in homes,” Mr Bowron said.

“All homes need to have two RCDs installed,” he said.

“They will trip and immediately cut off the electricity supply if the RCD detects an imbalance in the electrical current, indicating a leakage to earth.

“This will prevent electrocution.”

Mr Bowron also emphasised the importance of turning off the main switch before entering the ceiling spaces of homes.

“Whether a home handyman or a qualified tradesperson, no one should climb into the roof space while the power is on. Roof spaces are dangerous places unless the electricity is disconnected.

“If your home was built before 1970, and has not been completely re-wired since, its wiring is likely to be unsafe.”

“Owners of pre-1970 houses should call a licensed electrical contractor and have their electrical installation checked for safety.”

EnergySafety is investigating both incidents.

Contact: Candace Beilby 9422 5208

EnergySafety
Media release
28 Feb 2011

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