Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is reminding electrical workers upgrading rental properties to ensure switchboards are not energised before the work is inspected by a licensed electrical inspector.
The Victorian Government introduced new legislation under the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021, mandating that all rental property switchboards are fitted with safety switches from 29 March, 2023.
With these upgrades already being carried out across Victoria, ESV is reminding electricians that under the Electricity Safety Act 1998, after undertakin
g prescribed electrical work they are required to ensure the power remains off until the work has been inspected and certified by an inspector. Unfortunately, ESV has already identified a number of instances where switchboards have been re-energised before an inspection was completed.
This may pose a serious safety risk potentially leading to house fires, electric shock and electrocution if safety defects go undetected. Electrical workers are also urged to arrange for an inspector to attend the same day to reduce inconvenience for tenants waiting for the power to be turned back on.
Safety switches protect people from electric shock. Each year around 15 people across Australia are killed in incidents that could have been prevented by a safety switch, while a further 300 are hospitalised due to electricity-related injuries.
ESV is calling on tenants to ensure their rental providers have installed safety switches. If not, rental providers should employ an Registered Electrical Contractor to carry out the work, and not try to do it themselves, to ensure it is carried out correctly and safely.
ESV is Victoria’s energy safety regulator and its responsibilities include issuing and auditing Victorian Certificates of Electrical Safety for compliance with its legislation and electrical standards.
ESV Commissioner and Chairperson Marnie Williams
“Switchboards must remain de-energised after replacement work has been carried out so that an inspector can certify the work as safe and ensure it is compliant to the electrical standards.” “We are reminding electrical workers that cutting corners by re-energising switchboards before they have been properly inspected may pose a serious safety risk.” “We also encourage electrical workers to arrange for licensed inspectors to attend as soon as possible after the work is completed, to ensure tenants do not go without power for too long.”
Reviewed 24 January 2023