5 reasons why risky DIY electrical work is illegal in Australia
Here’s why you should never be tempted to do your own electrical work
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Surely just a little DIY electrical work can’t be that bad?”, then this news post is for you. Dealing with electricity always comes with high risks – which is why it’s always better to be compliant with the law and trust the professionals.
Whether you’re renovating or just doing minor repairs around the house, you may be tempted to save a little time and money by taking care of electrical jobs yourself. But doing your own electrical work is a bad idea. DYI electrical work could put you, your family, and your home in danger. What’s more, you may also end up paying heavy fines for not obeying the law.
Let’s take a look at 5 good reasons you should hire a licensed electrician instead of trying to fix it yourself.
What do we mean by ‘electrical work’?
According to the Australian Electrical Safety Act 2002, electrical work includes ‘the manufacturing, constructing, installing, testing, maintaining, repairing, altering, removing, or replacing of electrical equipment’.
This means that pretty much any electrical job requiring the right tools, skills and certificates would fall under this category.
What kind of DIY electrical work is illegal in Australia?
Of course, there are some basic electrical jobs – such as changing a light bulb or plugging in electrical appliances – that are safe and legal to perform even if you don’t hold an electrical licence.
But in Queensland, the list of illegal DIY electrical work is much longer. In includes:
- Installing a new power point
- Replacing a light switch or a light fitting
- Repairing an electrical appliance
- Replacing a plug at the end of a lead
It’s for very good reasons. There are a number of serious potential consequences of attempting illegal electrical work.
What are the dangers of DIY electrical work?
1) Electric shock or electrocution
Of course, one of the biggest concerns when dealing with electricity is a potential electric shock. If you try your own DIY electrical work, you risk minor or major injuries or, even worse, your life.
Every year, fatalities occur because of household wiring accidents performed by DIY unlicensed workers. This is often a result of touching the wrong wires together or forgetting to turn the power off. Unfortunately, it’s enough to neglect one step and that can lead to deadly consequences.
Because electricity is a powerful force, it’s critical to know exactly what you’re doing when you’re dealing with it. That’s why domestic electricians go through years of training to learn how to safely work around it. Plus, a professional always follows a very specific set of guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety.
2) Potential fire hazards at your home or business
There’s a real danger of causing a fire due to faulty wiring when you attempt to DIY. With so many different electrical components to work with, it can be confusing trying to fix wiring issues. All it takes is placing a single wire in the wrong spot to cause disaster.
Other problems such as an overloaded circuit, faulty connections, or simply the wrong gauge of wire are common mistakes of DIY electrical work and can lead to overheating, sparks, or a fire.
According to Fire Safety Australia, electrical fires represent around a fifth of all fires recorded in the country. And once they start, it’s incredible how rapidly they spread. This is why calling your local qualified electrician for any electrical issue will offer you the necessary safety and peace of mind.
3) Faulty wiring could be a time bomb
Unlike other ‘do-it-yourself’ activities where the ‘trial and error’ technique may work, there’s no such thing when dealing with electricity. In fact, the real dangers with electricity are the ones you usually don’t know of.
For example, incorrect or unsafe wiring can be an accident waiting to happen. Putting the wrong amperage on a circuit breaker could lead to problems later on. These ‘DIY mistakes’ may go unnoticed for a long time before causing a problem resulting in electrocution or a fire.
That’s why it’s important to know what you’re doing. A professional electrician has the proper training to check these “small details” to ensure your long-term safety.
4) Your insurance could be jeopardised
Besides the safety factor, there’s another thing to keep in mind: the costs! If you carry out DIY electrical work and you run into an electrical fire, your insurance won’t cover you. This is because the insurance company don’t recognise any type of unlicensed electrical work and can refuse to pay the claim. So a simple job may end up costing you your home.
By contrast, when you choose a professional for your electrical needs, you’ll have the peace-of-mind of knowing that you’re covered.
5) Electrical inspections could detect unlicensed electrical work
Finally, all electrical components at home or at work must pass an electrical safety inspection. If they fail to meet the requirements, you risk paying heavy fines.
Sometimes, homeowners mistakenly assume that they can hide DIY repairs from these electrical check-ups. Unfortunately, they may experience bigger problems down the road. By hiring a qualified electrician, you can rest assured that every electrical repair will pass inspection.
What are the penalties for DIY electrical work?
In Queensland, unlicensed illegal DIY electrical work is not only risky, it also carries penalties of up to $40,000 for individuals.
According to Workplace Health and Safety, a breach that exposes an individual to a risk of death or serious injury attracts a maximum penalty of $600,000 for an individual or five years imprisonment. You can see why at Jaric Electrical, we believe DIY electrical work is simply not worth the risk.
Hire Jaric’s licensed electricians to do your electrical work safely
Considering all the dangers we’ve talked about above, you can see that DIY electrical work really is a bad idea. Electricity is a powerful servant but a bad master, which is why we recommend that you always get a qualified electrician to do any electrical job.
With an experience of over 25 years, Jaric Electrical (Electrical license 80306) is ready to offer you the right advice and solutions while keeping your home and family safe. Call Jaric Electrical on 1300 452 742 or contact us online.