Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has warned North Queensland residents that the danger has not passed yet despite most flood waters having receded from tropical cyclone Ita.
Urging homeowners to take extra precautions around electrical appliances and fittings, MEA Queensland State Manager Stephen King said all appliances that had been submerged in storm water should be tested by a licensed electrician before they are used.
According to Mr King, it isn’t sufficient to simply wait for appliances and household fittings to dry out, adding that affected residents may be tempted to avoid calling an electrician to check on appliances, given that they are likely to be struggling with the trauma and cost of flood damage. Simply assuming that the electrical appliances are in good condition is not a risk worth taking.
Mr King also urged flood affected residents to have their switchboards or internal electrical fittings tested by an expert before turning them back on. While the recovery period may be stressful, taking shortcuts with electrical safety is not the answer.
Mr King said if a home had lost power due to flooding, the electricity distributor would likely require a safety check by a licensed electrical contractor before they would reconnect the supply. Homeowners will need an electrical contractor to repair the fittings before wires that have been brought down by winds or falling trees can be reconnected.
MEA has opened an emergency hotline to help homeowners find a contractor as quickly as possible. The hotline staff can allocate work to the nearest available contractor to ensure homes are reconnected as quickly as possible.
The service fee will be negotiated between the homeowner and the contractor, but in most cases it can be included in any insurance claim.