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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has urged electricians and builders to replace dangerous Infinity electrical cables or risk receiving a rectification notice from regulators. The unsafe cables were installed in up to 40,000 homes and businesses throughout Australia.
According to ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard, though Infinity cables were recalled more than a year ago, 62 per cent of the faulty cables are yet to be remediated, posing a serious and unnecessary risk to community safety.
The cables fail to meet safety standards due to poor quality plastic insulation coating with tests showing the installed cable may become prematurely brittle from 2016 onwards, which could cause fires or electric shock.
Rickard explains that electricians and builders have an obligation to inform homeowners and businesses that their electrical installations are unsafe and non-compliant. She noted that state and territory regulators can issue rectification orders requiring electricians and builders to replace non-compliant cables, and will do so where Infinity cables are known to have been installed and contractors have simply ignored the problem.
Rickard advised electricians to immediately contact the suppliers of Infinity cables to seek assistance with remediating the cables under the supplier’s recall. The remediation is being carried out at the cost of the suppliers. Electricians should also contact ACCC if they think they bought Infinity cable from a supplier not listed in the recalls.
She added that electricians are better off completing cable replacement proactively instead of waiting for a regulator to show up. By not doing anything, electricians run the risk of a house burning down or a fellow tradesperson or homeowner being electrocuted.
Licensed electricians can expect further contact via the licensing schemes in their respective states and territories to be advised about their legal obligations.
Homeowners are also urged to have all electrical cable installations carried out between April 2010 and October 2013 inspected by an electrician. Any Infinity cables that are discovered should be remediated as soon as possible under the supplier’s recall. An inspection can be carried out for as little as $100.