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Frequently Asked Electrical Questions

Frequently Asked Electrical Questions

Date: Thursday 15th January 2015

There are a number of electrical terms and important factors that must be complete regarding electrical safety. Now all of your frequently asked questions will be answered here! It is important to be aware of what you are able to do and what must be outsourced to a licensed electrician. Working with electrical appliances can be very dangerous so it is important not to take any risks.

1. What is a ‘short circuit’, also know as a ‘short’?

A short/short circuit occurs when excessive heat is generated. Often, when a ‘hot’ wire comes into contact with a grounded conductor a spark is generated. However, there are prevention methods which include installing a circuit breaker that cuts power to the circuit in event of a short; this is installed within your electrical panel. Reference: Root Electric, 2014 

2. What is a periodic inspection?

A regular, periodic inspection is required to ensure that electrical installations are functioning in a satisfactory condition. This can be complete by your local electrician. An Electrical Installation Condition Report will be issued outlining the current condition of the appliance recording any damage, defects or non-compliances. It is important to noet that periodic inspections are only to be carried out by qualified electrical persons like registered electricians. Reference: Electrical Safety First, 2014. 

3. How can I protect and prevent myself and my family from electrical-related injuries?

The is the most effective way to prevent electrical-related injuries is through carrying out regular safety checks and inspections. This can be complete by the home owner, through a visual check. Ensure that power outlets and extension cords aren’t overloaded with plugs, that cords that are not frayed or damaged, or stored underneath something. Also regularly check smoke-detectors and ensure the batteries and are changed annually. References: Magic To Light, 2013.

4. What is appliance test and tagging?

Testing and tagging an appliance requires completing a safety check to ensure an appliance is functioning correctly, minimizing risk of electrical shock. Test and tag inspections are completed on appliances that are regularly used such as kettles, toasters, and power tools. They are required to comply with Work Health and Safety Australian standards.

5. Who can test and tag appliances?

Queensland Electrical Safety legislation outlines that testing and tagging can only be completed by a qualified Restricted Electrical Contractor. Therefore you are not eligible to test and tag your appliances yourself. If you would like to be able to complete test and tag, you may complete a one day course, which will make you able to check your safety appliances at home.

Bizmatrix offer a one day test and tag course, for more information see here.

Reference: Test and Tag, 2013.

Do you have further questions about electrical terms or practices that are compliant with Australia Codes and Standards? Comment below and let us know.


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  • Gregory Willard
    July 5, 2016, 10:24 pm REPLY

    I had no idea that having regular inspections is the best way to keep your family safe from electrical issues. I had a friend that was electrocuted from a problem in his house. I will have to ask him if he ever had his system checked out.

  • john waters
    April 13, 2019, 10:32 am REPLY

    Downlight in caravan over stove, the porcelainsection where you push the replacement bulb into, broke where the pins of the globe push into, have obtained a replacement, however the replacement has two blue wires how do you know which one is the positive, the bit I have to connect to has red and black ?

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