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House fire sparks important reminder about appliance plugs and cords

Thursday 24 February 2022 at 12:22 pm

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is encouraging Victorians to ensure their electrical plugs are properly plugged in following a fire in a Roxburgh Park garage last week.

The 16 February fire started at around midday where a plug was found to be only partially plugged into a power point after it was believed to be dislodged.

Once the plug was dislodged, the partial connection created heat, which led to the plug catching fire.

The incident is a reminder to all Victorians to always check their appliances are properly plugged into powerpoints. ESV is also urging the community to regularly check that plugs and power cords are kept clear of furniture or left wedged in tight spaces that might lead to them being pulled out, frayed, bent or dislodged. If there is no adequate space around the power point, move the equipment to a location that allows for more room or, instead, have the plug replaced with one where the cord and plug enters from the side.

ESV, Victoria’s energy safety regulator, also recommends Victorian householders regularly test their safety switches. Safety switches are mandatory on both power and lighting circuits in new homes and older properties where extensive renovations have been carried out. If homeowners do not have safety switches installed, they should consider engaging a licensed electrician to have them fitted. A safety switch monitors the flow of electricity through a circuit, if a problem is detected that causes a leakage to ground, it can turn off the power within 0.03 of a second.

ESV Commissioner and Chairperson Marnie Williams

“This incident is an important reminder about how dangerous dislodged plugs can be and the damage they can cause.” “Victorians need to be vigilant, regularly inspecting the condition of their cords and plugs and the power points they are connected to.” “Cords and plugs can become damaged over time due to repetitive movement especially when trapped or dislodged behind large equipment like fridges, freezers and ovens.”   “Safety switches save lives. If your home is not protected, consider engaging a licensed electrician to have them installed.”

Media contact: Adrian Bernecich 0437 729 194 | adrian.bernecich@energysafe.vic.gov.au

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