Top 5 Fire safety tips from professional electricians

Electricity plays a major role in most people’s lives, your friendly local electrician on The Gold Coast is the best person to check and safeguard your home or work premises from electrical fires caused by electrical faults. Most people use electricity from when they first wake, to the time they retire each night, powering all their modern conveniences.

Unfortunately, most people have grown so used to having electricity, they take it for granted and forget just how dangerous it can be, if every precaution to protect ourselves from it is not taken.

Following these fire safety tips from professional electricians will help to avoid the possibility injury, death damage to your property:

  1. Never do any DIY electrical installations

It’s illegal to do any DIY electrical repairs or installations anywhere in Australia except for low voltage (12 to 24 volt) applications that are not connected to mains power. The only people who are permitted to do any electrical work on the Gold Coast are qualified and registered electricians on the Gold Coast. If you do your own electrical repairs or installations, your insurance can be invalidated and you’re liable for any injury or damage caused.

2. Safety switches and Wiring

Ask you local electrician on the Gold Coast to install the appropriate safety switches or (RDC’s) and circuit breakers in your home and business. There are childproof safety switches available that prevent children placing objects into electrical outlets.

It’s vital to check all of your safety switches are working regularly as well as ensuring all electrical wiring is checked every few years.

Wiring issues can cause fires, so look out for any strange smells, outlets that are discolored or distorted, flickering lights or appliances that are not functioning correctly. These are indications you need to call your local electrician on the Gold Coast as soon as possible to have your circuits checked.

3. Smoke detectors, alarms

Smoke alarms must be either fitted with a ten year battery that is not removable or hardwired so they are always working. There must be a smoke alarm in every bedroom and corridors outside bedrooms. Also, it should be on every floor of each building and installed on exit paths from the building

4. Emergency lighting

Ask your friendly local electrician on The Gold Coast to advise you about the most suitable form of emergency lighting for your property

5. Electricity and water

After storms, high winds or flooding, it’s important to have your wiring checked.

Make a visual check of the mains wires where they enter your home and all your power outlets.

If you think there is anything in your wiring or circuitry that’s not normal or any of your electrical fitting have been submerged or affected by water, call your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast to have your system checked as soon as possible to prevent the chances of fire caused by overheating and damaged wires.

What are the benefits of having USB electrical outlets installed in home?

Most modern rechargeable devices use USB cables to charge, so it’s worth while having you local electrician on the Gold Coast make a simple home upgrade by installing USB electrical outlets around your home.

Your electrician on the Gold Coast usually won’t need to change your wiring, just replace the old power outlets with USB capable outlets. There are a variety of configurations available, with the most common having two normal three pin sockets and two USB slots.

Streamline your device charging

This simple upgrade is a great way to improve the quality of life in your home and unclutter your electrical outlets. There is no need to use adapters just plug your USB directly into the wall outlet.

You could easily have your laptop and phone plugged into one outlet along with a normal three pin device. No need for bulky adapters as it frees up your outlets without the need to search for a spare outlet or unplug another device when you need to charge something. Every room in your home can be a hassle free, clutter free charging station.

When visitors need to charge their devices you have the convenience of being able to offer them a fast charge directly from the wall USB outlet

No need for adapters

Often when you want to charge your device you have to first search for a suitable adaptor, but with USB outlets conveniently placed around your home all you need do is plug you cable directly into the outlet. You’ll only need your adapters when you’re away from home.

Faster Charging

You can plug your USB device into other device that has a USB port such as a laptop or TV, but usually this is a very slow way to charge, as these devices often only give out 500 amps. With a USB adapter it’s a bit faster in a standard three pin outlet.

When you have a USB port on your electrical outlets you’ll get a 40 percent faster charge than when using an adapter. This is because most home electrical outlets with a USB port include a smart chip that detects the optimum charging rate needed for your device so charges it as fast as possible

Free up your power outlets

Not only does having your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast install USB wall ports in your home to free up your three pin outlets, it stops the problem of having a bulky adaptors covering the other three pin ports on an individual outlet so they can’t be used.

With the dual three pin and USB port outlets you can still keep your appliances plugged in while charging your USB devices

Dual three pin and USB outlets are now commonly available in most electrical supply stores and home supply stores, but by law you need to have them installed by a licenced and registered electrician, so call local electrician on the Gold Coast to have them installed for you

Why you should use a professional electrician

The law is very clear in Queensland and anywhere else in Australia and New Zealand (who share the same electrical regulations) that only a fully qualified, registered and licensed electrician is allowed to do any electrical work apart from simply changing light bulbs or fuses in the home. It’s important that you hire a professional electrician on the Gold Coast for any type of electrical repairs or alterations you need done in or around your home.

  • DIY Electrical Work

Many Australians are pretty good at doing stuff themselves and take pride in repairing and maintaining their own homes. But when it comes to electrical repairs or alterations the risk is just too high. Just a small mistake could cause serious injury, dearth or fire, so to save a few dollars, it’s just not worth the risks and the penalties of doing your own wiring are very steep.

If there is an accident and you are found to have done your own electrical repairs or installations you could be libel for any loss of property or life and you would not be covered by any insurance policies.

When a professional electrical contractor does any wiring on a property they are required to place that in writing so any other electrical contractor who works on that property in the future can quickly see what has been done and by whom. Because of regulations like this it’s very clear when a non qualified person has done any wiring work.

Wiring and safety inspectors will go over the wiring in any home fire or place where an electrical accident had happened to ascertain the cause and to ensure that all wiring and repairs were carried out properly and by a fully trained, qualified and licensed, professional electrician.

What would have been a small and relatively inexpensive repair job by a local electrician on The Gold Coast can quickly become a very expensive situation.

When considering doing any electrical repairs or alterations consider these points

  • Safety

The main concern regarding not doing any electrical work yourself is the safety of your family, home and anyone who enters your property

  • Danger

Electricity cannot be seen, smelt or heard, but it can be lethal and quick. If your electrical system is not installed properly by a professional electrician on The Gold Coast.

A simple thing like driving a nail into a wall to hanging a picture could result in electrical shock with properly installed safety switches

  • Cost

Making a mistake when doing your own electrical repairs can cause more damage and result in costly repairs. Hiring a professional electrician on The Gold Coast will ensure the job is done quickly and cost-effectively

When you hire a professional electrician on the Gold Coast to do any installation or electrical repairs you know the work will be done in accordance with all local and federal laws and safety standards so you can be sure your family and property is safe from electrical hazards and fires Having a professional electrician work on your homes wiring will ensure it will be able to cope with any loads or appliances you use in your home. It will extend your wiring’s lifetime and reduce the like hood of any future electrical problems.

How does rise in power consumption presents risk in older homes?

There are many lovely older homes in Queensland that people are very comfortable living in. Usually, they are well maintained, but the state of their electrical wiring can be questionable. Ask your local electrician on the Gold Coast to check your wiring and bring it up to date with the latest safety features to protect your family and help prevent the possibility of electrical fires

One sign your electrical wiring in an older home needs urgent attention is a sudden and unexpected surge in your power consumption and electrical charges.

These potential problems may be the cause of high electrical consumption:
Faulty wiring

When there is a fault in your home’s electrical wiring it can cause electrical leakages, forcing up your power consumption. This could be from:

  • Old wires losing their protective insulating covering because of old age and become brittle and cracked
  • Damage caused by rodents or insects eating through the plastic insulation
  • Storm and water damage
  • When the original wiring was installed, it’s expected loading was much lower, but now adding extra appliances to the same circuitry means more current is being drawn through your wiring than it can cope. This could cause overheating and damage to connections, switches and wires causing electrical leakages

Most of your internal wiring will be concealed inside walls, in the ceiling or under the floor so isn’t visible. Ask your friendly local electrician on The Gold Coast to check your wiring and make any necessary repairs. By law, only qualified and licensed electricians are allowed to work on any household electrical wiring

Faulty Appliances

If you have not changed your electrical appliance usage, but suddenly start using more electricity, then you may have some faulty appliances. If the thermostat on your water heating system stops working properly, it may cause the water heating elements to be on all the time using a lot of power.

If the switches that control your air conditioner settings are faulty you air con may be working overtime driving up your power usage.

Other older appliances may be worn out, this could cause them to start using more electricity to do the same job. Have your electrician on The Gold Coast check them for faults as they could be a fire hazard as well as expensive to run.

No Apparent Reason

If you can’t find a reason for a rise in your power consumption, it may be you have a damaged meter, so ask your electricity supplier to check your meter and to make sure they have not made a mistake in calculating your power consumption and power bill.

Your local electrician on the Gold Coast can also check your wiring and the meter to see if there is a problem there.

Have more power outlets installed so you can avoid drawing too much power from any one circuit or outlet

If you find you’re suddenly faced with a larger than expected power bill, but your usage has not changed, you need to call your friendly local electrician on The Gold Coast to have your wiring and appliances checked to find the cause. Having any necessary repairs done will not only help reduce your power consumption and eventual power bill, but it will ensure your home is safe from electrical problems and a risk of electrical fires.

A Quick Guide on Choosing the Right Heating system for your Home this Winter

Australia is the land of extremes, especially weather wise and the Gold Coast is no exception and can become chilly during the cooler months. Your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast can recommend the best heating option for your home this winter depending on the style of your home and the area you live in as some ways are more cost-effective and efficient than others.

There are a few options available, with often a mixture of different types preferable. To help you decide these are the common options:

  • Electric Heaters

Electric heaters can be portable or wired to the wall or ceiling, they are usually inexpensive to purchase but can be expensive to run. It’s recommended that you use electric heaters with thermostats or timers to limit the time they are on.

Electric heaters can be bar heaters that reflect heat directly or fan type heaters that warm the air in the room. Electric heaters are best for small areas when you want instant heat, but are not so good in large rooms or rooms with high ceilings as the heat rises and the lower areas take a long time to heat up, so can be expensive to operate

  • Gas Heaters

Gas heaters are generally very efficient and provide value for money spent, but you need a gas supply or to use bottled gas which can be inconvenient. They can heat medium sized rooms quickly and effectively

  • Reverse cycle Air Conditioning

Reverse cycle air conditioning systems are a more expensive option initially than gas or portable electric heaters, but they are much more effective and economical, especially in large areas or open plan homes. Your local electrician on the Gold Cast can install them for you. They offer the advantage of being able to keep your home cool during the hotter months, for a relatively low power usage so are very cost-effective in the long term

Fireplaces and Wood Burners

The cosy feeling a wood burner or fireplace adds to a room is very appealing, but they usually don’t heat the whole home, so are mostly used with other forms of heating such as portable heaters. Their advantage is that they can be a very cheap option as firewood is very easy to collect in most areas. The biggest disadvantages of fireplaces are the smoke and pollution factors and the need to store lots of firewood

  • Solar heating

This is often taken into consideration in the planning and the design stage of building a new home, but could be difficult although not impossible for an existing home. But often has the advantage of providing hot water as well as further reducing your energy costs

  • Being Energy Efficient

Your local electrician on the Gold Coast can advise you on all the best options for your particular home and situation. It’s also important to ensure your home is properly insulated as the heat will escape if there are any places it can get through. Having reverse cycle air conditioning allows you to only heat the areas you need heated using thermostats, thereby reducing your overall energy costs as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast is able to advise you on the type of home heating that is best suited for your particular home and then install the best system ton help reduce your energy consumption and lower your heating costs.

What are the top electrical safety requirements every household should have?

By law in Queensland all existing domestic electrical installations are required to have at least one residual current device or a safety switch that will interrupt the power supplied to all power points if an electrical leakage is detected. It’s recommended that your electrician on the Gold Coast installs RDC’s on every circuit in your homes electrical system so that it a leakage does occur in a particular circuit, that circuit will be shut down but the unaffected circuits will remain operable.

Individual safety switches can be installed in all power points or any extension cord or board for additional safety

  • New Homes

When building a new home or making an addition, all power points must be protected with safety switches (RDC’s) and it’s advisable to also have RDC’s on lighting circuits. An RDC must be installed before any new electrical work or rewiring is allowed to be carried out in a home in Australia

  • Existing homes

All leasehold or rented domestic residences are required to have RDC’s on all power points in the homes electrical system

All houses sold after 1st September 2002 require an RDC to be installed if any electrical work is done on them. This work can only be done by a qualified and registered electrician on The Gold Coast

If a property is sold an RDC must be installed on the main power supply within three months of the sale date

There are some important safety requirements for every home; these include having an electrical safety checklist and having your home inspected by your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast on a regular basis or if you suspect you may have an electrical problem because you experience any of the following:

  • You feel any type of tingling sensation if you touch a light switch, power cord or appliance
  • If any of your circuit breakers flip or your fuses blow regularly
  • If any of your switches or electrical fitting give of a burnt or rubbery smell
  • If your switches or plugs feel warm or hot to the touch, appear to be deformed or discoloured
  • If there are sparks when you connect or disconnect fittings or operate switches
  • If there is any water leaking around any electrical appliances or power points
  • Your lights start to dim or flicker

It’s important to check that all electrical cords and plugs are in good condition before using. Your electrical plugs should fit together firmly and snugly ask your Gold Coast electrician to replace any frayed damaged or loose connections.

  • Make sure your light bulbs are the correct wattage for your fittings and circuits
  • Don’t overload power circuits by having too many appliances on any given circuit. Your local electrician on The gold Coast will be able to install additional circuits it required
  • Use tamper-proof electrical power points if you have children
  • It is illegal to do any electrical repairs yourself, you must have a licenced and registered electrician to do any electrical repairs or installations

Every home by regulation must have at least one safety switch (RDC), ask your local electrician on the Gold Coast to check your electrical circuits and insure your RDC’s are working correctly at least every two years. They will show you how to do a monthly homeowners RDC test so you can be sure they are working properly.

How to maximise your air conditioner’s efficiency

With the continually rising cost of electricity, it’s important to find ways to maximize your air conditioner’s efficiency. Having your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast check your air con system yearly will ensure it’s running properly and efficiently, but there are a few things you can do yourself, such as:

  • Setting the thermostat

It’s not a good idea to constantly fiddle with the thermostat controls as this, usually causes the system to run longer than necessary with longer on and off cycles

If you want a different setting in different rooms, invest in a zoning system for customized cooling and maximum efficiency. When you’re out of the house, a particular area or room, using timers to turn down or off the cooling in those areas will help reduce overall cooling costs

Try setting the thermostat at a reasonable level, lowering the temperature setting will not cool down the room or house quicker, it will just cause the unit to run for longer

  • Your condenser

Clean around your condenser and remove any dust, debris, leaves or spider webs as this will allow for more air flow and help it to work more efficiently. It’s also a good idea to provide shade to keep it cool as this helps its efficiency.

Remove any plants or objects that are within two feet of your compressor as they could impede or obstruct the air flow reducing its efficiency

  • Filters

It’s important to clean or change the filters on a regular basis so they don’t reduce your indoor air quality or flow causing the compressor to work longer. The floor vents clean and unblocked with furniture and curtains well away to maintain a steady air flow

  • Keep the cool air inside

The cool air inside will flow out any doors, windows or vents that are left open. To air your home, turn off the air con and open all the doors and windows instead of cooling down the neighbourhood.

If your ceiling is not insulated, consider getting some insulation for placed there. It will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter so your air con will not have to work so long or hard

Glass transfers the cool air out and lets the heat in, so keeping blinds and curtains closed helps to keep the inside temperature constant. If you have a lot of glass, consider double glazing, it won’t take long to recover the extra cost in energy savings.

Direct sunlight can very quickly heat up the inside so investing shade cloths above windows and doors can reduce the heat as well as the glare
Gaps around doors and windows also allow the cool air to leak outside, so check the seals and install draft stoppers on the bottom of doors.

Insure any ductwork or cooling pipe work is properly insulated and have your ducts cleaned by a professional regularly to remove any dust of mould

Ensure lamps and heat producing appliances are well away from thermostats as their heat can trigger your thermostat to turn on the air con when it’s not needed. Appliances such as clothes dryers and electric oven should be used in the coolest parts of the day. Ask your friendly electrician on the Gold Coast to install a zoning system to make your air con more efficient

What are the main causes of Power Outages?

Power outages are unpredictable as they can happen at any time and without any warning. Unless you’re prepared it can be quite disruptive and stressful. Your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast can help with ideas on how to make these unfortunate episodes easier and also provide your home with a backup emergency power supply that gives you lights and keeps your security system operational whenever there is a power outage.

Types of power outages

There are four main types or categories of power outages or power faults, these are:

  • Planned shutdowns – These are done when the power supply companies need to do scheduled maintenance. Customers are notified of the date and time of the shutdown
  • A permanent fault –This usually happens when there is a fault on the main power lines, power is restored automatically once the fault is fixed and the fault cleared
  • A brownout – This is usually caused by a temporary drop in your electrical supply
  • A blackout – A blackout is where there is a total loss of power over an area, it may last for a few minutes, hours, days or even weeks depending on the reason for the blackout

The most common causes of power outages are:

  • Weather

The Gold Coast is blessed with a wonderful year round climate, but at times those of us living here have to put up with cyclones, cold snaps with ice and hailstones, very heavy rains, flooding and dust storms over the hot months. This can cause problems with equipment breakages and water damage causing power failures

  • Electrical spikes

Electrical spikes are a temporary voltage increase; these can be caused by lightning strikes and electrical storms, short circuits and tripped circuit breakers. Normally these can cause a short power outage unless they have also caused major electrical damage to lines or equipment and then there could be a delay while repairs are made

  • Vehicles

Many of the power lies that service our homes are located along roads and highways. This makes them vulnerable to motor vehicle accidents. Broken power poles and electrical power lines take time to repair and replace so often this causes power outages

  • Bushfires

Bushfires can destroy miles of electric power lines and other power infrastructure as well as preventing repair people from gaining access to restore the power supply. When there is a bushfire, you must have your local electrician on the Gold Coast check your home’s wiring for faults or problems caused by power surges or spikes during the fire

  • Animals

The Gold Coast is home to a variety of wild animals such as rats and mice, centipedes and large insects, possums, snakes and birds that often find their way into different types of electrical installation and equipment areas used to control the power supply looking for food or shelter. If the come into contact with live connections such as fuses or connectors or transformers they could cause a short that results in a power outage until the problem is located and the fault repaired

 

Fortunately, power outages are quite uncommon on The gold Coast, they usually happen during bad storms from lightning or flooding. Bird strikes, vehicle accidents and bushfires are also major reasons for power outages around The Gold Coast area.

Top things to consider for electrics when shifting to a new house

When you are about to move into a new house, whether you just purchased it or it’s a rental, you should consider a few safety factors before you take possession or unload your stuff. If you just brought the property you most likely had a pest and building inspection so you know the place is sound and free of harmful pests, but what about the electrical wiring. It’s also important that you have your friendly local electrician on The Gold Coast make an electrical inspection to ensure the wiring is safe.

  • First, do a walkthrough

Before you move in while the place is empty you can get a good look around and see if anything is amiss. Check all the light fittings and make sure all the lights work. If possible, check the power points, this can be done using a radio or other appliance you can easily hold in your hand.

Just plug it into each power outlet and you will know if it’s working or not. Take note of any that are not working so you can have them repaired. While you’re checking them look for any sign of damage such as cracks, discolouration or distortion that could be a sign of a problem

  • Safety Switches

All rental properties must have safety switches and a law from 2019 requires all domestic residences that were constructed before 1992 to be equipped with safety switches within three months of being sold.

It’s important that you have a safety switch on all electrical circuits in your home and that all of the wiring is properly grounded. You can take a look in the fuse box or look at the meter board to see if the safety switches are there, but it’s better to ask your friendly local Gold Coast electrician to check for you.

  • Illegal Wiring

It’s illegal for anyone apart from a qualified and registered electrician to do any electrical wiring including installing safety switches in Australia. Sometimes homeowners or handymen decide to save a few dollars by doing their own wiring, but this can place you or your family and your property at risk, so having your electrical wiring checked by a fully qualified, registered and licensed electrician on the Gold Coast is Important when moving into a new place.

  • Child Safety

If you have children or even pets, it’s important that you check the area for any hazard that could compromise their safety. Many children are curious by nature and like to play with things. They have almost no understanding of the dangers of electricity, even if you try and explain it to them. Spare electrical outlets and empty light bulb sockets can be a very interesting and tempting thing to look at and push objects into, so it’s important to use blanks or have child safe devices installed on any power outlets that are within reach and not being used

 

Before moving into a new place it should be checked for electrical hazards by your local electrician on The Gold Coast to ensure it has adequate safety switches and that it’s completely safe for you and your family. You should also check the operation of all electrical outlets and devices to ensure they are in good working order.

 

What is the importance of grounding electric current?

Having a properly grounded electrical system in your home will help protect you and your electronic devices from electrical overloads and shocks. Ask your local electrician on the Gold Coast to check your electrical system and ensure it’s properly and efficiently grounded.

Having your home wiring grounded is important because:

  • Overload protection

When grounded your electrical wiring system has an easy pathway for excess electricity to escape in the event of a lightning strike or a surge in your current instead of damaging your circuitry, appliances, property and anyone who is in it

  • Help direct electricity

When your electrical system is grounded the power can easily be guided to the areas required safely and efficiently

  • Stabilises voltage levels

Grounding makes it easier to regulate the power supply so the correct amount of power gets to the right places as required with a common reference point. This helps to ensure circuits don’t get overloaded and blown out

  • Earth, the best conductor

Earth is a very strong conductor, so when your electrical system is grounded, if there is any problem the current will pass through the easiest pathway to earth rather than travelling through a person giving an electric shock and most likely saving your life

  • Prevents damage

Proper grounding avoids the risk of having appliances destroyed and data lost or fires starting by a surge or overload in your electrical circuits. Ask your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast to check your electrical wiring regularly; it could save lives and your property

How grounding works

A metal rod is driven into the ground or a pipe from an underground water system is used to permanently ground your electrical system. From this, a wire goes to your electrical circuit or switchboard. Every power outlet has a three pin plug and wired in appliances have three wires, the positive, phase or hot wire, the negative or neutral wire and the ground or earth wire.

Electricity always seeks the easiest and shortest way back to earth, so if a problem occurs the current can harmlessly travel directly to earth instead of via a person preventing electrocution.

Your home should only have three pin plugs so there is always an earth wire available for all appliances. If you have the old style2 pin plugs you need to have your wiring system upgraded by your local electrician on the Gold Coast as soon as possible to ensure your family’s safety and protect your property

Safety Tips

If in doubt about the safety of any of your appliances or electrical fittings call your local friendly electrician on The Gold Coast to check them for you.

  • Never use or touch any appliance with a damage electrical cord
  • Never use or touch any appliance that is cracked, damaged or becomes warm, hot or smells

Having your electrical system properly grounded is a smart move to ensure the safety of your electrical appliances, fittings, data, property and family. If you have any doubts about whether your home is properly grounded, you have flickering lights, get a tingling sensation from any switches or appliances or if you smell any strange smells around your home, contact your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast to have your home wiring checked as soon as possible for your family’s safety.