It is pretty hard to live without electricity these days, so it might be safe for us to say that it’s essentially something we can’t live without. So when something goes wrong with the electricity in your home or office it can be extremely frustrating and disruptive. We are here to help with our guide on all things Electrical, from Electricians to repairs, keeping your home safe and tips to help you save money.

Jump to:

Electrical Devices in the home
Top 10 Electrical Safety Tips
Tips for cutting costs on Electricity
What does an electrician do?
When to call an electrician
Is it important to use a Licensed Electrician?
Hewitt Electrical Services

Electrical Devices in the home

Our homes depend on electricity to provide us with light, food, heating, cooling and entertainment. Many electrical accidents occur in the home and the following are the main areas of concern.

Appliances – We love our appliances and our homes are filled with them, from toasters and heaters to televisions and microwaves, but there are certain precautions relating to appliances that need to be observed to avoid the risk of electrocution.

  • Inspect appliances regularly for faulty or damaged plugs, switches and cords and replace them or have them repaired immediately.
  • If you do throw them away, make sure they can’t be used by anyone else.
  • Switch off and unplug appliances before cleaning them.
  • Never poke anything into an appliance such as a toaster.
  • Never touch an appliance with wet hands.
  • Turn off appliances like air conditioners, heaters and ovens if leaving your home.
  • Make sure appliances like televisions and computer monitors that generate heat have several inches of clearance all around for good air circulation.
  • Never fold an electric blanket up to store it, as the wires may bend or break.

Cords – Cords are how we connect our appliances to the power supply and these too need to be treated with care. Safety tips for electrical cords include the following:

  • Extension cords should only be used as a temporary solution and should be placed around walls to prevent tripping, and never under rugs or carpet.
  • Always remove a cord from the wall at the plug, as pulling on the cord itself is unsafe.
  • Only use extension cords outside that are rated for outdoor use and make sure the connections are protected from the weather.
  • Fully unwind cords before use to prevent overheating.

Power Boards and adapters – We use so many appliances in our daily lives that a single power outlet is often not enough, but caution should be used when employing double adaptors or power boards.

  • Never piggy-back a double adapter as it can cause an electrical fire.
  • Don’t overload a power board with too many appliances and make sure it has the correct amperage to support the appliances being plugged into it.
  • Always use power boards with in-built safety devices such as overload switches.
  • Check power boards regularly for signs of scorching or discolouration and replace immediately if discovered.
  • Ensure power boards have adequate ventilation to prevent overheating.
  • Always turn power boards off at the wall outlet if not in use for any length of time.

Lights – Lights may seem harmless, but they are also capable of causing electrocution. The following tips should be observed when handling lights of any kind:

  • Always turn the light switch off before replacing a light bulb.
  • Never replace a light bulb or touch a light switch with wet hands.
  • Always use a light bulb with the correct wattage to prevent overheating.
  • If painting a ceiling, do not remove the plate around the light, but mask it instead.
  • If tiling around light fittings or switches have the plates removed by a licensed electrician.

 

Top 10 Electrical Safety Tips

Whether it is in the home or office here are the top 10 tips for electrical safety.

  1. Check your wires – Dodgy connections can compromise more than just the safety of your appliances – they could be life-threatening. Ensure plugs and wiring isn’t frayed or damaged.
  2. Turn off unused appliances- As well as saving power, switching off appliances around the home contributes to a safer household.
  3. Install surge protectors- Instead of using multi plugs, add surge protectors in areas where a number of appliances are often used at once, such as living or lounge rooms.
  4. Cover unused power points- Whether you have kids, pets or both, it’s essential that spare sockets are covered with safety plugs.
  5. Watch where you leave extension cords- Be careful where you put extension cords. If they’re dragged near water or stretched to their limit they can become a hazard.
  6. Know where your switchboard is- Ensure you’re aware of the location of your switchboard. This information could save lives.
  7. Keep power lines insight- When doing DIY work at heights, keep overhead power lines insight and don’t stray too close.
  8. Avoid underground wires- The same goes for wires of the underground variety. If you’re renovating your yard, ensure you’re doing so safely.
  9. Keep appliances out of reach of kids- Don’t leave cables or electrical devices where children can pull on them.
  10. Get professionals to make repairs- Electricity is dangerous. Avoid making repairs yourself.

 

Tips for cutting costs on Electricity

Worried about the rising costs of electricity? Here are some tips to help you save on electricity and reduce your bill.

1. Install energy-efficient lighting

Light bulbs can contribute a surprising amount to your power bill, especially if you have old incandescent or halogen light bulbs. Consider installing energy-efficient light globes. Not only do they use less electricity, but they last longer, too.

2. Adjust the thermostat

Heating and cooling can be expensive if you’re not smart about it. When heating, set your thermostat to between 18 and 20 degrees – each degree above 20 can add 10% to its running costs. In summer, set the temperature to 25 or 26 degrees. Once again, every degree below 25 can add around 10% to its running costs.

3. Wash clothes with cold water

Try to stick to the cold wash setting for day to day laundry if possible. Take advantage of any economy settings and make sure to set your machine to the correct load size.

4. Switch off appliances at the wall

Standby appliances can cost a typical household over $100 per year in wasted electricity. Appliances like televisions, microwaves, dishwashers and even phone chargers consume electricity when they’re not being used, meaning you’re essentially paying for nothing. If you keep forgetting to switch off at the wall, consider buying a smart power board to stop standby electricity for you.

5. Close doors and curtains

The harder an air conditioner has to work, the more power it will use and the higher your bills will be. When running your air conditioner, be sure to close your windows, doors and curtains. Also, try to block draughts around the house to trap air inside.

6. Insulate your home

Insulation is a cost-effective way to improve your home’s energy efficiency, helping reduce your heating and cooling costs. Insulation helps your home maintain a comfortable natural temperature. It acts like an esky to keep the cool in during summer while acting like a thermos in winter to retain heat.

7. Get energy monitoring

Tracking your electricity usage with an energy monitor means you can see how and when you’re using electricity, helping you identify opportunities to save electricity and reduce your power bill.

8. Check appliance settings

Adjusting the settings of certain appliances can have a huge impact on your power bill. Check the fridge isn’t running too cold and the TV isn’t too bright. Also make sure to use any economy settings on dishwashers, clothes dryers, washing machines and air conditioners whenever possible.

 

What does an electrician do?

Electricians – are tradespeople trained and qualified to plan, install and maintain electrical wiring systems across a wide variety of environments. These may be located in

  • Residential homes
  • Commercial buildings
  • Industrial environments

In general, a typical electrician will:

  • Read electrical, architectural and mechanical diagrams or drawings.
  • Understand electrical specifications and electrical theory to determine job requirements.
  • Plan appropriate layouts for electrical wires and wiring systems.
  • Identify the right electrical equipment for a particular job.
  • Install lighting, power outlets, conduits, cable trays, ladder racks, circuit breakers and emergency lighting.
  • Carry out fault-finding.
  • Test, repair and maintain electrical equipment.
  • Connect electrical equipment and appliances.
  • Install motors and switchboards.
  • Install automated electrical controls.
  • Install voice and data cabling.

 

Electricians are responsible for more specific jobs depending on their specialisations and the industries they choose to work in. For example, an industrial electrician will complete a slightly different set of jobs to commercial and domestic electricians. This may mean working with slightly different types of electrical equipment, but the core responsibilities remain largely the same.

 

When to call an electrician

Here are some signs to look for that might indicate that it is time to call an electrician.

1. Your Fuses Keep Blowing

Resetting things in your switchboard once every few months is normal, but needing to reset something almost every week or day is a sign of deeper electrical issues and will require an electrician to inspect.

2. Your Lights Flicker

Sometimes a flickering lamp is a sign that a bulb needs to be changed or tightened, but occasionally it could be a sign of bad electrical wiring. If you start to notice excessive flickering or dimming, take a little time to make some observations and call an electrician if this is a persistent problem affecting multiple appliances.

3. Your Home Is Older

If you have an older home, it’s possible that you may not have the most efficient or safe electrical wiring in your home. Some of your most important wires may be frayed or be experiencing corrosion. An older system could be feeling overtaxed from powering all of your modern electrical devices.

The chances are that your home is not protected by safety switches either. You may not currently be experiencing problems, but it’s still worth having an electrician come out and inspect your home. They may make your house safe and more energy efficient.

4. Your Bathroom and Kitchen Need Work

Kitchens and bathrooms play very important roles in the home. If both rooms aren’t maintained, simple electric issues could easily become dangerous.

Your kitchen and bathroom are the only rooms in your home that are regularly exposed to water. In wetter areas, outlets and electric equipment need to be well protected from residual moisture.

If you’re going through a remodelling project or simply have an outdated kitchen or bathroom, call an electrician to take a look at the rooms to make sure everything is safe.

5. You Don’t Have Enough Power Outlets

You may not have as many power outlets as you’d like to keep up with your family and growing technology dependence. Most people resolve this issue by plugging in a power board and adding additional outlets that way.

It’s possible to overuse power boards. You may have way too many devices drawing power from one weak place. If you don’t have as many outlets as you’d like in your home, call an electrician to do some work. You may notice that a lot of the problems you had before will be resolved by having more hard-wired power outlets.

6. Your Electric Bill Keeps Going Up

It’s not out of the ordinary to notice your electric bill increase when you’re blasting your A/C unit during some of Brisbane’s hottest months. A high bill in January or February is normal, but a high bill in July could be a sign of a bigger problem.

You may have a faulty or inefficient electrical set up that’s causing your home to consume and waste more electricity. Take a quick look at your electric bills over the past year. If you only notice a slight jump during a month or two, that’s normal. If you see that your bill has been steadily increasing, it may be time to call an electrician.

7. Light Switches and Outlets Feel Warm

Take a moment to walk around your home and touch light switches, outlets, and any other electrical-system surfaces. Do any of them feel warm to the touch?

These warm areas are a sign of overheating, and overheating is a problem that must be addressed by an electrician. Places that are already warm to the touch could spark a fire if they aren’t taken care of.

Also, be sure to look out for other danger signs like blackening or discolouration on switch plates and wire ends. They’re signs that things aren’t just overheating. They’re actually sparking and pose a significant safety hazard.

Is it important to use a Licensed Electrician?

Yes, it is illegal to do electrical work in Queensland without a licence. Only an electrical contractor can do electrical work in your home.

The potentially hazardous nature of electrical work requires a high degree of caution and strict compliance with health and safety regulations. Becoming a qualified electrical contractor requires one to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship program.

Three important points to remember when hiring an electrician:

  • All electrical work must follow strict guidelines and regulations.
  • Only fully licensed and accredited tradesmen can perform electrical tasks.
  • Electrical contractors must also hold a contractors licence to perform electrical work for others as a sole trader, partnership or company.

 

Hewitt Electrical Services

At Hewitt Trade Services, we pride ourselves on our 15 years of experience in providing electrical services around Brisbane. Our team of electricians are:

  • Professional
  • Qualified
  • Experienced

We provide a trustworthy and reliable team of electricians who get every job done with a premium quality standard. Our focus is on 100% customer satisfaction on all of our electrical services and providing the best possible electrical service to our local community.

At Hewitt Trade Services, our qualified and professional electricians can provide you with a wide range of general electrical services that include:

  • Powerpoints
  • Lighting and fan installations
  • Smoke alarm installation and hard wiring
  • Switchboard upgrades and repairs
  • Phone, data and tv

 

Whether you are looking for an electrician for your domestic residential needs or perhaps someone with the commercial contracting experience to tackle the bigger jobs our electricians will be able to provide you with Brisbane’s best and most efficient electrical services.

As an electrical contractor, we pride ourselves on our wide scope of electrical services, beyond the general electrical services we also specialise in:

  • Kitchen and other electrical appliances
  • New buildings
  • Renovations
  • Pre-purchase inspections
  • Test and tag
  • Swimming pool and spas

electrical services brisbane

 

To learn more about our electrical services, contact one of our friendly team members on 07 3634 0200.

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