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Ararat man hospitalised after creating artwork from used electrical components

Wednesday 5 July 2023 at 12:58 am

Energy Safe Victoria is calling on the community not to re-purpose electrical equipment after the regulator was notified of the electric shock of an Ararat man who built a makeshift electrical device to create artwork.

The incident has prompted a reminder from the energy safety regulator not to re-purpose electrical components for alternative uses, as this can pose a serious risk to people and property.

The incident took place in Ararat on Monday, 22 May with the electric shock leaving the man unconscious. He was resuscitated and stabilised by paramedics before being airlifted to The Alfred hospital.

In the pursuit of creating a wood burning-etching device, the man assembled a contraption consisting of a 2,200-volt microwave transformer, jumper cables, and two nails forcefully embedded into a piece of wood soaked in saltwater.

The jumper cables, which are typically designed for only 12-24 volts, were connected to both the nails and the output of the transformer. The transformer input was connected, via an extension cord, to a power outlet. 

Once the power outlet was switched on, an electrical current flowed, energising the jumper leads, the nails and the wood at 2,200 volts.

Energy Safe CEO Leanne Hughson said this incident served as an important reminder to the community not to re-purpose electrical components to create do-it-yourself projects. 

“This incident highlights how dangerous it can be if a person tries to make their own electrical equipment, with components in a manner they were not designed for,” Ms Hughson said.

For more information go to www.esv.vic.gov.au.

Media contact: Adrian Bernecich 0437 729 194