Electrical and gas safety recalls and warnings
An electrical or gas appliance (or its components) can be recalled and removed from sale if it is unsafe or risks injuring someone.
Recalls can be initiated by:
- product suppliers, including retailers, importers and manufacturers – this is usually a voluntary recall
- state and Commonwealth governments, under the Australian Consumer Law
- the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR), under the Energy Products (Safety and Efficiency) Act 2000 and the Gas Act 1997.
Recalls don't just apply to new products. Many appliances may run well for a number of years before failing, so it is important to be aware of what products have been declared unsafe and recalled.
Product safety recalls Australia lists all unsafe electrical and gas products recalled by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and provides further information about what risk they pose to users.
Prohibition of sale and use
The OTR can prohibit sale or use of a product or particular class of products in South Australia if they are deemed unsafe.
Supplying and installing these products is prohibited.
SKL branded cables
Testing has identified that SKL brand thermoplastic sheath (TPS) cables marked 2013 – including sizes from 1mm2 to 16mm2 – do not comply with the ageing and loss of mass tests required by the relevant safety standards. These cables are prone to premature failure and can cause electric shock or fire.
Ecables branded copper clad aluminium RE 110 insulated power cables
Testing has identified a manufacturing defect that means the cable’s insulation is not cross-linked. Therefore, no sizes or configurations of power cable with RE110 insulation – including all SDI sizes 10mm2 to 630mm2 and multicore sizes 6mm2 to 50mm2 – comply with relevant safety standards.
The cable's mechanical properties greatly reduce with increasing temperature. This can allow access to live parts if the cable is subject to pressure such as from cable fixings or weight of other cables, which can potentially cause personal injury or fire.
Inbuilt gas heaters
A safety notice has been issued for Cannon Fitzroy or Canterbury inbuilt gas heaters built between 20 March 2001 and 8 October 2009 under AGA Approval 6118.
Laboratory testing suggests the heaters could produce potentially hazardous levels of carbon monoxide if the heater is subjected to certain conditions. This risk may be increased if the inbuilt heater has not been installed properly, or if it has not been serviced regularly, or if your house is tightly sealed.
The heater's build date and AGA Approval number are on the heater’s ratings label, which is located within the lower fan chamber. A licensed gas fitter person can access the fan chamber by removing the lower fascia panel of the heater.
If you think you have one of these heaters, please call Cannon on 1800 035 410 to arrange for it to be checked at Cannon’s expense. You should not use your heater until it has been checked. Visit the Cannon website for further information.
High voltage combined fuse-switches
Following a fatal incident in Western Australia, the Office of the Technical Regulator is warning all electrical contractors and owners of electrical infrastructure to take reasonable safe-work precautions when working on any high-voltage, oil-insulated, combined fuse-switches, or any exposed high-voltage parts.
It is very important that all electricity supplies are isolated to keep anyone working on or near the equipment safe.
EnergySafety Western Australia reported the deaths of two electricians after a 11kV oil-insulated Long and Crawford combined fuse-switch exploded due to a high current fault occurring in the unit's tank. Most of the insulating oil in the tank evaporated immediately. While the investigation is not complete, it appears there was a short-circuit fault in the switch tank following the rupture and disintegration of a high-voltage fuse within the unit.
EnergySafe has placed a ban on performing work on any of these units until all electrical supplies have been isolated. Visit the EnergySafety website for more details about the safety order.
Passive infrared (PIR) sensor
Energy Safety Victoria have published a safety alert in relation to PIR sensors, which are commonly installed in commercial and industrial premises.
On some models, when the cover is removed to adjust the sensor settings, a sensor module that is live is exposed and accessible to touch:
Maintenance and adjustments to the settings must be carried out with the power isolated, and by licensed electrical contractors only.
Further information from Energy Safety Victoria.