While Melbourne is a state of DIYers, when it comes to electricity, it’s completely hands-off. While you may think you can save a couple of dollars by ‘having a go. Stop and ask yourself, is it worth risking your life or that of a loved one? Not only is it breaking the law, but you could also be jeopardising your building’s insurance!
Even when you think you know what you are doing, never attempt to do your own electrical work – it’s dangerous, illegal and can be fatal. The image at the beginning of this blog shows a typical DIY electrical project that endangers people and property. Unlicensed and DIY electrical work – it’s just not worth the risk!
The law is black and white when it comes to working on the electrical systems in your home. If it’s much beyond changing a light bulb or re-setting a safety switch at the switch board you will probably need to get a licensed electrician to do it.
Don’t be fooled by the array of electrical products in the hardware stores either. You don’t need to be licenced to buy them, but you most certainly need to be licenced to install most of them. While many renovating forums are full of advice from DIYers who say they can competently lay cables and fit off general power outlets themselves, the risks of doing so are great. The first thing to accept is that there is a real danger of a major accident or death. Even qualified, experienced electricians have nasty accidents, therefore amateur DIYers can’t begin to understand the complexities of household electrical systems.
Even if you get the job done, there’s no guarantee that it’s been done right. Simply because a light or power point works doesn’t mean it’s safe. You could be in for a nasty surprise down the track. On top of that, the fines for illegal work are high and your insurance company certainly won’t cough up if there’s evidence of illegal electrical work.
Melbourne House Check’s tips
Tip 1. Never ever do electrical work yourself, it is illegal and potentially deadly.
Tip 2. If you notice electrical work that has been conducted by amateurs, (they may have survived the job, but subsequently leave other people who use the sub-standard work with the risk of electrocution and fire). Call an electrician.
Tip 3. Create a good relationship with a sparkie. They may happily allow you to dig trenches and do the messy work under strict supervision. (Word of mouth is always the best recommendation for finding a good electrician, and you should always do a licence check to verify their licence number and that the licence is current).
Melbourne House Check conduct house and building inspections in Melbourne prior to purchase and are available to offer free phone advice whenever required regarding not only electrical work but any element of a house.