Work safe when using Power Boards and Extension Leads

Power board safety advice

The practice of overloading power boards with many appliances (particularly large current devices,heaters, urns, portable air conditioners)  and adding other power boards or adapters  to increase capacity are undoubtedly the  major cause of fire at the Home and in the Work Place.

DON’T:

  • Plug in high power devices into power boards, ie Fan heaters, It is far safer to connect these appliances to a wall outlet
  • connect double adaptors to power boards
  • cascade a chain of power boards together, either double up your power outlet on the wall or get another outlet installed.
  • use damaged power boards
  • use power boards in wet areas such as Laundries and Bathrooms
  • use power boards as a substitute for permanent power outlets
  • use power boards in dirty or dusty areas use power boards with shutter covers in these areas.

DO:

  • always ensure that plugs fit firmly in the power board sockets
  • regularly check the power board for any signs of damage, cracking and discolouration
  • keep power boards out of the reach of children and pets
  • allow for adequate ventilation around the power board.
  • make sure you have an RCD or safety switch protected circuit that is supplying the power board
  • consider installing a permanent power outlet so you do not need to use a power board.
  • Have your appliances and power boards regularly inspected, tested and tagged, particularly if you are a business, charity or public organisation with Workers/Volunteers/General public using Power boards and appliances.

Using extension cords safely

DO:

  • always use an extension cord that has earth, active and neutral wires and a 3-pin plug – never use a 2 core flex (two wires only) as an extension cord.
  • ensure that the cord is fully unwound so it doesn’t overheat

DON’T:

  • join extension cords together. If you need an extension cord longer than 25 metres ask a licensed electrical contractor to install a general purpose power point.
  • use extension cords in wet weather or where they could contact water. If your extension cord gets wet, switch it off, and discard it.
  • place extension cords where they can be walked on or driven over. This may damage the cord and expose live wires. You can mount your extension cord on a fixture with a height of 2.5m (8ft) using tape or cable ties.
  • overload extension cords. The maximum load on an extension cord should not exceed 2,300 watts (In Australia that is nominally 10amps at 230 volts supply). Check the labelling on the extension cord to see how many watts it is rated at. Also consider using extension cords are labelled Construction Grade in outdoor and potentially hostile environments.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< 0 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

… At Tested & True … We come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide December 2012

Advertisements

Safety Switch: Your Best Investment in Electrical safety

Safety Switch 101

The best single safety investment you can make for your Workplace or dwelling is to buy a Safety Switch. Installing a Safety switch is the most effective method of preventing injury or death caused by electric shock. A safety switch works by detecting tiny differences in current through electrical wiring, and it can detect a potential path to earth. Take the example of a person holding a faulty appliance that has an electric charge thereby providing a path to earth. A truly effective Safety Switch will detect that leaking electrical path and shut all the power down in mere milliseconds, quite often before the sensation of electrocution is felt, thereby preventing a harmful or potentially fatal electric shock.  Safety switches are Electro-mechanical devices and over time can be subject to failure. They should be tested regularly to make sure they are in working order.

Safety Switches can be prone to trip under certain conditions… There are a number reasons why a safety switch will trip. The Top 5 reasons are:

An Appliance Fault

When an appliance becomes damaged or develops a fault, it may start to leak excess electrical current. This excess current will be detected by the safety switch and cause it to trip. The easiest way to determine if this is the problem is by unplugging all electrical appliances at the power point, resetting the safety switch and then reconnecting the appliances one by one until the faulty appliance can be identified. Always use caution when dealing with possible faulty appliances and if in doubt contact an electrician.

Intermittent or Nuisance Tripping

As the amount of electrical appliances we have in our home increases, so does the likelihood of Nuisance Tripping. If there are a large number of appliances plugged in to the home at one time and a small amount of current leaks from each, the current adds up to become more substantial. This may mean that the safety switch is continuously on the verge of tripping. If there is the tiniest change in electrical current from the electricity company this can push the switch to its limit causing it to trip. This can become more of a problem in older homes where the electrical wiring is not in good condition. Limiting the amount of appliances plugged in at one time can help minimize this type of tripping.

House Wiring Fault

Faulty wiring poses the most threat to our safety and presents the worst fire risk. Fortunately, a safety switch dramatically reduces these risks. All wiring deteriorates over time and can become dangerous, so older houses are obviously more at risk. A safety switch will detect any fluctuation in electrical current caused by damaged wiring and trip, cutting off electricity immediately and stopping the wiring from burning out. A qualified electrician can assess your electrical wiring and may suggest repair or replacement.

Faulty Safety Switch

Sometimes the cause of a safety switch tripping can be the switch itself. As with any electrical appliance, a safety switch can become defective with age or mistreatment. Safety switches should be checked every six months to ensure they are working effectively. A qualified electrician can offer advice on how to do this, or do it for you if you are unsure.

Electrical Storm

An Electrical Storm can also be the cause of a safety switch going off. When lightning strikes your home, power lines or a power station it may cause a power surge which can cause a safety switch to trip. If this occurs, it is best to wait until the storm passes before resetting the switch. If in doubt always consult an electrician.

Without the right safety equipment and safety precautions, electricity can be deadly. Always check with an electrician if you are unsure why your safety switch has gone off.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< 0 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

At Tested and True …We test Safety Switches as well as other electrical testing services. We come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide August 2012

Buyers Guide to Surge Protected Power Boards

How do surge protected power boards work ?
At first glance a surge protected power board operates like any other Power Board. It shows its ability at that moment when too much voltage gets passed along the transmission line , the surge protected board lets only a ‘safe’ amount through to the connected equipment. The rest it channels into the electrical outlet’s ‘earth’ and safely dissipated into the ground.
When a surge occurs at a certain level above normal voltage, a component built into the surge protected power board becomes conductive and starts to carry the excess electric current back down through the ground wire, so the damaging high voltage doesn’t reach connected equipment. Once the surge ends, that protective component resumes its ‘dormant’ stage of being non-conductive. It’s a bit like an electrical version of a pressure valve.
Australian domestic wiring is designed for a standard voltage of 230–240 volts. If the voltage goes too far above that, it can damage electronic equipment, which usually has many sensitive components. If excess voltage lasts for a very brief time (1–2 nanoseconds) it’s called a spike. If it lasts longer it’s called a surge. Even though a spike or surge can be so brief their duration is measured in nanoseconds, they can still cause damage to sensitive components. It is vitally important to protect sensitive business equipment, Computers, printers, photocopiers etc these items of equipment are sensitive to Surges in voltage.
So what sort of a Surge Protected Board should you Buy ?
Energy absorption/dissipation – This rating, given in joules, tells you how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it fails. A higher number indicates greater protection. Look for a protector that is at least rated at 200 to 400 joules. For better protection, look for a rating of 600 joules or more.
Response time – Surge protectors don’t kick in immediately; there is a very slight delay as they respond to the power surge. A longer response time tells you that your computer (or other equipment) will be exposed to the surge for a greater amount of time. Look for a surge protector that responds in less than Ten nanoseconds.
It is best to look for a Surge protected board with an indicator light that tells you if the protection components are functioning. Eventually the protection component will burn out after continual power surges, but the board will still function as a power connection. Without an indicator light, you have no way of knowing if your protector is still functioning properly.
Other important features may include ?
Building wiring status indicator: Detects potentially dangerous wiring problems in the wall outlet.
Circuit breaker: Protects the surge board from overload by connected devices drawing too much current.
EMI noise filtration: This reduces or eliminates line noise (electrical interference).
Other connections: Surge protected sockets for coaxial cable, modem or Ethernet network, all of which can also conduct high voltage that can damage connected devices.
Outlet spacing: Allows more room for one or more devices that use a transformer block.
Sockets: Check the number of mains power sockets available, usually from four to eight.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< 0 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

At Tested and True …we come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide July 2012

Keeping up with the Standards

As I go about my work I notice that many other workplaces and hence businesses have gone about their Safety Provisions, much the way they always have. Most notably the Construction Industry where outdated and sometimes dangerous practices still exist!

Having quizzed some Builders and Contractors in the Industry I found that they were simply unaware that  their was  updated version of AS/NZS 3012 (the Standard for Electrical installations—Construction and demolition sites), and that had been released in 2010. Though they were still complying with 2003  standard, they were not aware of the superseded AS/NZS 3012:2010

The main differences between the 2010 version and the 2003 version include:

  • new maximum allowable lengths apply for flexible extension leads used with equipment where safety is dependant on reliable starting of motors such as motors that may draw high starting currents;
  • the use of domestic-type double adaptors and multi-plug adaptors is clearly prohibited;
  • the inspection and tests on construction wiring and some of the tests on isolated winding generators must now be carried out by a person authorised to carry out the electrical installation work required, e.g., a licensed electrician;
  • a requirement to protect temporary construction wiring against mechanical damage by use of insulating conduit, flexible electrical hose, armoured cable or equivalent means;

a requirement for energized permanent wiring to be identified and assessed for risk of damage from construction activities.

At about the same time, the  standard AS/NZS 3760:2010.(in service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment) …has also changed and that there are revised and in some cases new requirements for  testing portable electrical appliances and cord assemblies and their frequency of testing.

Copies of these standard are available from the SAI Global website:

http://infostore.saiglobal.com/store/default.aspx

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< @ >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

All this can be awfully confusing let us help you with your electrical compliance and needs. We come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide June 2012

WINTER ELECTRICAL SAFETY

WINTER IS NEARLY HERE!

Time to pull on the Uggies and put those warm Trackie Dacks on (Tracksuit/Sweat suit) and get out you favorite electrical heating appliance… aah Cosy, Warm …and Safe !?! (well you’d hope)

Statistics show that sales of electrical appliances increase during May. The first winter like chill and we are down at the shops looking for the easiest  and sometimes the cheapest way to warm ourselves… Then at that point; it is a Good time to review safety tips on buying and using electrical appliances.

Large electrical appliances are a major cause of electrocutions. Make sure appliances are purchased
from reputable dealers and have been certified by Australian standards.  The introduction of cheap/counterfeit electrical appliances products into the marketplace is on the rise. Appliances must comply with the minimum safety requirements contained in Australian Standard AS/NZS 3820:1998. Here below is a tick mark to look for on all approved equipment.

For portable heaters used frequently  during colder months. Following manufacturers’
instructions is the first step in avoiding electrical hazards.

Power boards and extension cords do not provide more power, but increase access to electrical outlets. As we try to meet 21st century power needs in homes and buildings with too few outlets to meet needs, our use of power boards and extension cords increases. Use of  improperly rated extension cords and power boards is among the causes of many  electrical fires each year.

APPLIANCES, ELECTRONICS AND  LIGHTING

If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips Safety Switch / breaker or has given you an electrical shock, immediately unplug it and have it repaired or replaced. Look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs and connectors.

Use surge protectors to protect expensive electronics.

Check the wattage of bulbs in lamps and light fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage. Replace bulbs that have a higher than recommended wattage;
they are a fire hazard. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely because loose bulbs can overheat.

Halogen lamps operate at high temperatures. Make sure halogen bulbs do not come into contact with curtains, clothing or other flammable materials.

ELECTRIC BLANKETS and SAFETY

Electric blankets should be rolled when stored away. Folding an electric blanket can damage element wires within the blanket.
When using a blanket for the first time after storage, lay it flat on the bed and check for hot spots as it heats up. Only add sheets once you are sure the blanket will operate safely at a maximum temperature.
Electric blankets that are not properly maintained can cause fires.
Avoid using double adaptors or power boards wherever possible.
Older electric blankets might be damaged and may not have the safety features of modern blankets, so consider replacing them.

To avoid disaster, children need to be aware of  improper uses of electric items and the consequences of unsafe behavior. Practicing safe electrical habits early in life will be valuable through out adulthood.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< @ >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Tested & True ~ test & tag comes to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standards ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide May 2012

Why use an Electrician?

You may think that a little knowledge of Electrical theory or perhaps doing some experimental wiring around your house makes you an Experienced and Knowledgeable technician. Well not so!: Being a licensed Electrician requires a great knowledge of wiring distribution systems and wired devices that can only be taught in a safe environment with qualified Instructors. On top of this being a qualified Electrician also requires a good understanding of SAA wiring rules known as the standard AS/NZS 3000:2007.

The Standard sets out requirements for the design, construction and verification of electrical installations. These requirements are intended to protect persons, livestock, and property from electric shock, fire and physical injury hazards that may arise from an electrical installation that is used with reasonable care and with due regard to the intended purpose of the electrical installation.

Electrical installation work in all states and territories can only be undertaken by licensed electricians or electrical contractors. In addition, a person or business must not carry on or offer to carry on any electrical contracting work unless they are registered or licensed electrical contractors in accordance with the Electrical Licensing/Registration Scheme in that particular state or territory.

These rules are for the protection of the community – they give you recourse if something goes wrong, and also help to ensure that the electrician you use is qualified and able to carry out a quality job.  Don’t risk electrocution, or worse, by doing it yourself – use a professional.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< 0 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Our Electricians are licensed and qualified in Hazardous work (Heights , confined spaces etc)… They will ensure that your workplace as Safe and working correctly. They are an integral part of our company ensuring both safety in electrical wiring and with your electrical appliances also. Tested & True ~ test & tag comes to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standards ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide March 2012

ELECTRICAL FIRE SAFETY


Much is made of Personal Electrical Safety, yes it is of prime importance, however often Personal Safety takes precedence over concerns of fire safety and it gets left out of the Risk Assessment. As a result, little consideration is taken to reduce fire hazards in particular fire hazards concerning power boards and extension Leads. Over the years there has been an increase in the number of fires caused by electrical power-boards and leads. The origin of these fires has been identified as the improper use of electrical leads, and incorrect placement of power-boards.

By and large the most prevalent electrical fire faults have been attributed to the overloading of multiple outlet power-boards by electrical appliances which exceed the maximum rated output of the boards. This can cause the power-board to overheat, melt and catch fire. Included is the practice of placing double adaptors on power-boards to increase the number of power outlets, and the piggybacking of double adaptors on power points. These are extremely dangerous practices.

Most common Power-boards are designed with a 10 amp maximum rating and may incorporate up to eight power outlets. However, some electrical appliances such as Urns, Heaters, Toaster Ovens etc, can draw up to 4 amps for each item plugged in , making it relatively easy to exceed the power-board rating if all the outlets were in operation.

It is important that all your electrical appliances are used strictly according to manufacturer’s recommendations and ensure that any electrical appliances used individually or as a group do not exceed the power-boards maximum rating.

So What Can I do about it? (Prevention is the only way, cure is too late!)

  • Ensure power-board rating is not exceeded by the appliances attached to the power-board.
  • Do not use double adaptors in the Workplace (power boards cost just a little bit more and offer overload protection and more outlets)
  • Never Chain from one power board to another to increase the number of power points.
  • Conduct regular inspections of power-boards for visual damage or discolouring.
  • If you suspect that a power-board is faulty, immediately take it out of service or replace it.
  • Turn off powerboards at the power point when not in use.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation around the power-board to prevent overheating.
  • Use RCD protected Power Boards where fixed RCD protection is not available.

And don’t forget your Electrical Appliances.

  • Provide adequate ventilation space around electrical appliances to allow heat to vent freely.
  • Never operate electrical appliances in damp or wet areas.
  • Not only turn electrical appliances off at their switch, but also to turn off the power point
  • By taking these simple precautions the risk of fire starting from the use of electrical equipment can be minimised. Remember, above all, the best protection for you and your co-workers/employees is to have a properly installed and operating Smoke Alarm.

Update your Fire Emergency Plan and ensure that all staff know where to evacuate and assemble

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< 0 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Preparing your workplace for reducing fire hazards is important is important, however it is best that your appliances and electrical wiring are not hazardous in the first place. Tested & True ~ test & tag comes to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standards ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide February 2012