Electrical Safety Series: Tingle, Shocks, Powerlines

All Queensland property owners and managers have a duty of care under electrical safety laws to ensure that their rental property is electrically safe for all tenants and people that may visit or work on the premises.

Over the course of our Rental Property Series we will discuss the 10 main areas of electrical safety and maintenance that the homeowner and tenant needs to be aware of.

  1. Safety Switches
  2. Smoke Alarms
  3. DIY
  4. Roof Spaces
  5. Tingles and Shocks
  6. Overhead Power Lines and Service Lines
  7. Private Power Pole Maintenance
  8. Dial before you Dig
  9. Maintaining Electrical Equipment
  10. Solar Systems

Tingles and Shocks

Electric shocks and tingles come from places in your property that have electrical wiring or metal components. You may experience an electric shock or tingle if there’s a fault with the internal wiring in your home, or in some cases, a network fault where the power lines meet your property. These faults are not to be ignored, something is not right and it could kill you!

No matter how minor the electrical shock or tingle, they can quickly turn into a life-threatening problem and they should be reported immediately

If you receive an electric shock or tingle from an appliance, water pipe, metal tap, powerpoint or any other conductor of electricity in your home, it’s important to report it immediately by calling Energex or other provider below straight away. If a serious injury has occured you need to Dial 000. In cases of minor injury and advice ring 13 HEALTH and your local GP.

The shock is coming from touching an appliance:
If you get a shock from using or touching metal electrical appliances like a dryer, toaster or stove, stop using it immediately. Get it checked by a licenced electrician if it’s a plug-in appliance or call your property owner if it’s hard-wired (for example a stove or air conditioning unit).

The Shock is coming from a tap, pipe or other metal fitting:
If you get a shock from a tap, pipe or other metal fitting, stop using it and call Energex, Essential Energy or Ergon Energy immediately and ask them to check your property.

Should I turn the power off at my property if I experience an electric shock?
The switchboard enclosure that contains your property’s main electricity switch will most likely be metallic and should not be touched. The safest approach is to avoid touching any exposed metallic surface until our crew can carry out the necessary safety checks at your property.

If an electrical issue is identified, how will it be fixed?
If here is an issue with the network connection, or with equipment owned by Energex, the cews will carry out repairs at no cost to you and ensure that you are reconnected ASAP. If the cause of the electric shock is not due to the network connection, it is likely that the issue is with the wiring in your property. In this case, you will need to source and pay for a qualified electrician to inspect and rectify the issue.

If you are renting, this is the responsibility of your landlord, so it’s important to notify them immediately so that they can arrange for an electrician to carry out the work. Once the fault has been fixed, a Energex inspector will carry out checks on your property to ensure it is safe to be re-energised.

Overhead Powerlines, service lines and underground lines

Look up and Down and Live.

Before you begin work outside your home, like cleaning your pool or tidying the garden, check for overhead power lines and service lines (connected to your house), especially if you’re using long objects or ladders.

Keep away from all powerlines. If it’s damaged or falls to the ground, don’t touch it and contact Energex, Essential Energy or Ergon Energy.

Renovations and Yard Work
If you’re digging in your yard or performing any renovations that has the potential to disrupt underground infrastructure you need to take an essential first step: Call Dial before you Dig! This includes all activities just some of them may include but not limited to:

  • New fencing
  • Driveways
  • Landscaping
  • Mailbox installation
  • Pools

Dial before you Dig can advise you on the location of any underground electric lines before you start. It is a free service. The Dial Before You Dig Service is NOT an emergency service. If the damage to the infrastructure asset and/or network is life threatening, please contact the Emergency Services on 000.

Some Useful Tips for Home Owners

  • A Dial Before You Dig enquiry must be lodged at least one business day prior to starting any excavation or work site project and allow sufficient time to receive plans back from registered asset owners to locate any affected infrastructure asset.
  • If you have a tradesperson working onsite, determine who will be lodging the FREE enquiry with Dial Before You Dig.
  • Plan(s) DO NOT pinpoint the exact location of the infrastructure asset and only the presence. Therefore, Duty of Care must be exercised when working around any infrastructure assets.
  • NEVER assume the depth or alignment of pipes and cables.
  • For any excavation project, always proceed with caution and follow the 5Ps of Safe Excavation.
  • Plans are intend to be indicative only and may not contain specific detail(s) within your property boundary.
  • If further assistance is required, contact the infrastructure asset owners directly using the numbers provided on the plan(s).
  • Consider hiring a DBYD Certified Locator or one recommended by the asset owner if you believe there are infrastructure assets within the vicinity of your project site but cannot locate them.
  • Keep a record of the information and any notes you make in case damage has occurred to an infrastructure asset(s).
  • Be aware asset owners may seek compensation for any damage caused to their asset, regardless if a Dial Before You Dig enquiry has been lodged. Any type of excavation around the home can cause damage(s) to surrounding infrastructure assets. Proceed with caution and follow the Duty of Care.

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