Building and Energy safety warning in flooding aftermath
- Kimberley residents may face electrical, gas, plumbing and building hazards
- Electrical and carbon monoxide risks if generators are not used correctly
- Never attempt any electrical work or repairs yourself
Building and Energy is urging Kimberley residents to be aware of potential electrical, gas, plumbing and structural hazards in the wake of the region’s severe flooding.
The State Government regulator says people should never attempt any electrical work themselves and should not use damaged electrical appliances.
“All flood-affected homes must be electrically safe before power is restored and any building repairs commence,” Building and Energy Acting Executive Director Nabil Yazdani said.
“Only a licensed electrical contractor has the expertise to check a property’s electrical safety.
“Any shocks or tingles from metal objects at a property should be reported to Horizon Power on 13 23 51 straight away, as this can be a sign of a serious electrical fault. Horizon Power should also be contacted if the flood has caused network damage such as fallen power lines.”
If a generator is being used, it must only be connected to the home’s electrical installation via a generator change-over switch if a network connection exists. Portable generators require a generator inlet socket that has been fitted by a licensed electrician at the switchboard.
“Never use modified male-male power leads to connect a generator to the home’s electrical installation,” Mr Yazdani said.
“These leads are illegal and incredibly dangerous due to their live parts and the risk of electrifying nearby power lines where workers may be carrying out repairs.”
Generators and any portable gas appliances – such as barbecues, camping stoves and heaters – must always be used outdoors to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that can cause serious illness or death.
Any signs of a gas leak should be reported to emergency services and the area should be kept clear of people and ignition sources.
If gas cylinders are damaged or are retrieved after displacement, do not use them and contact the gas supplier listed on the cylinder in the first instance.
Flooding may also have significant impacts on plumbing and drainage, which should be checked by a licensed plumber when possible.
Residents and tradespeople returning to flood-damaged homes should be cautious about hazards in the debris such as asbestos-containing materials and broken glass.
See the Building and Energy website (dmirs.wa.gov.au) for more information, including:
- Safe use of electricity
- Safe use of gas
- Finding a registered or licensed tradesperson
- Helpful checks when choosing a building service provider
- DFES: Recovering from a flood
- Horizon Power: Major flooding and outages in the Kimberley region
- Master Electricians: Suicide lead fact sheet – dangers of use on generators
Media contact: BEmedia@dmirs.wa.gov.au
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