In Business

Western Australia Minister for Commerce Simon O’Brien

New Campaign To Prevent Electrocutions

Victor P Taffa

Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien today launched a new Campaign to prevent people being electrocuted in their homes and workplaces.

A New Television, Radio and Newspaper Advertising Campaign will start today to encourage home owners and businesses in Pre-2000 Premises to have Residual Current Devices (RCDs) fitted.

“In the past 17 years, 29 people including eight children have been electrocuted in homes in Western Australia.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Worst of all, 23 of these deaths could have been prevented had RCDs been fitted.”

An RCD is an electrical safety device fitted to the main meter box or switchboard of a house or business.  The device detects any imbalance in the electrical current or leakage to earth and immediately cuts the electricity supply to avoid electrocution.

“Everyone has circuit breakers or fuses in their meter panels to protect against overloading and short circuits.” the Minister said.

“These will not prevent electrocution RCDs are the only devices that will.”

Mr. O’Brien said it had been compulsory since 2000 for all newly-built homes and businesses to have two RCDs fitted as part of the initial electrical installation.

More recently, the State Government introduced regulations to require all homes for sale to have two RCDs fitted before the property could be sold.

Similarly, all rental properties must have two RCDs fitted before they can be re-leased. For continuing leases, the RCDs must be fitted before August this year.

The Minister said seniors who installed RCDs in their home could also be eligible for the State Government’s Safety and Security rebate of up to $200.

For a home or business to be fully protected, it needs:

  • Circuit breakers or fuses to interrupt the current flow if too many appliances are connected to a circuit or a short circuit occurs;
  • At least two RCDs to prevent electrocution.  The household circuits need to be divided evenly between two RCDs to ensure some light and power remains if one operates.

 “I encourage every property owner to install these RCDs if they are not in place already.” Mr. O’Brien said.

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