MEDIA RELEASE: Friday 27 April, 2018
The Electrical Trades Union of Australia gives in principle support to the National Electrical and Communications Association’s call for mandatory electrical safety audits of homes at the point of sale.
ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks has acknowledged that with many homes across Australia aging, there was clearly a need to ensure new owners were not being stuck with hefty bills for potentially unsafe or deadly electrical faults and that renters were also being protected.
“We welcome the opportunity to provide further safeguards for Australians homebuyers and renters against the possibility of electrical faults that could see them out of pocket or injured,” Mr Hicks said.
“For most Australians, buying a home is the biggest and most expensive purchase they will make in life.
“Buying a home is stressful enough without having to consider if at some point in the future your house might catch fire or a loved one might get a shock because the electricals have not been looked at by a professional for decades,” Mr Hicks said.
The ETU National Secretary added that Electrical Safety Audits were frequently overlooked when prospective home buyers carry out building inspections on properties.
“Building inspections are common but electrical safety audits on houses and apartments are all too often neglected before the keys are handed over,” Mr Hicks said.
“It’s not good enough to say, ‘buyer beware’.
“Australia needs to have strict laws in place to compel property owners to use a licensed electrician to carry out thorough inspections of the wiring and electricals when a home goes on the market,” Mr Hicks said.
The ETU National Secretary encouraged Australian states and territories to follow the lead of Queensland and Western Australia, where it is mandatory to have safety switches such as Residual Current Devices (RCDs) installed on homes before they can be sold or leased.
Mr Hicks said the installation of RCDs on rental homes should be mandatory across Australia to ensure tenants are kept safe from electric shock and the properties they rent are protected from the possibility of fires being sparked by faulty wiring.
“As well as carrying out mandatory safety audits on homes when they are put on the market, the installation of RCDs by licensed electricians on all homes, whether up for sale or rent, will make sure all Australians are protected in their homes,” Mr Hicks said.
ETU National Secretary – Allen Hicks
0419 721 037, firstname.lastname@example.org