FULLY LICENSED PROFESSIONALS WITH OVER 30 YEARS ELECTRICAL AND FIRE EXPERIENCE
Got a question about the services on offer at DG Electrical & Fire? We've compiled some of the questions we're asked most often below. If you're looking for more information, don't hesitate to contact our friendly team.
How does an electrical safety switch save lives?
On a normal power circuit, the
current flowing to an appliance returns through the neutral wire. If the
circuit is compromised, the electricity can leak to earth through a person in
contact with the appliance, causing death or serious injury.
A safety switch detects the loss
of power from the circuit, and cuts the supply of electricity in as little as
30 milliseconds – 0.003 seconds. Importantly, this response time is faster than
the critical section of a heartbeat, and therefore significantly reduces the risk
of death or serious injury.
What is appliance test and tagging?
Testing and tagging an appliance requires
completing a safety check to ensure an appliance is functioning correctly,
minimizing risk of electrical shock. Test and tag inspections are completed on
appliances that are regularly used such as kettles, toasters, and power tools.
They are required to comply with Work Health and Safety Australian standards.
How often should electrical wiring be checked?
It is recommended that periodic inspection and testing
is carried out at the following times:
tenanted properties, every 5 years or at each change of occupancy, whichever is
2. at least
every 10 years for an owner-occupied home.
at least every 5 years for a business.
What is an RCD and how does
RCD is a safety device that monitors electrical current flowing within a
circuit from the switchboard. It works on the principle that the electricity
current flowing in must be equal to the current flowing out of the circuit. If
the RCD detects an imbalance in the electrical current, indicating a leakage to
earth, e. g. current flows through someone’s body to earth, the RCD immediately
cuts the electricity supply to prevent electrocution. RCDs are extremely
sensitive, disconnecting within 10 to 50 milliseconds of detecting 30 milliamps
or more of leakage current.
What are some of the compulsory tests that are
necessary in order to verify that the electrical work complies with all standards?
are various tests to be carried out along with a visual inspection for a
standard voltage electrical installation. Some of the tests include:
Checking for Continuousness of the earthing system.
(b) Insulation resistance
(d) Correct circuit links
(e) Verification of impedance required for automatic
Disconnection of supply (earth fault-loop impedance)
(f) Operation of RCDs AS/NZS 3017 “Electrical Installations
Is an RCD the same as a
No. Many homes already have circuit breakers installed. However, circuit
breakers only protect against overloading and short circuits. They do not
How do I tell the
difference between an RCD and a circuit breaker?
An RCD looks like a circuit breaker but also has a test button. Combined
RCD/circuit breaker are available also. These devices provide protection from
overload, short circuit and electrocution. They also have a test button.
Why does my house not have
2000, it has been compulsory for all new homes to have two RCDs fitted to
protect the power point and lighting final sub-circuits as part of the initial
electrical installation. However, homes built before 2000 were not required to
have two RCDs fitted. Also from 1992 to 1999 only one RCD was fitted to protect
some of the power points and not the lighting circuits.
Where are the RCDs fitted?
RCDs are required to be fitted at the origin of the power point and
lighting final sub-circuits which will be at the main switchboard or
distribution board for the residence
If RCDs are fitted, how can I check if they are operating
All RCDs are manufactured with a test button.
Homeowners and tenants should press the test button every three months. Pushing
the test button simulates an earth leakage fault and indicates whether or not
the device is operating correctly. Electrical clocks and timing devices may
have to be reset after the test button has been pushed and the RCD turned back
RCDs must be installed to
meet the AS/NZS 3000:2018, Wiring Rules – what does this mean?
AS/NZS 3000:2018, Wiring Rules is the minimum safety
standard that all electrical installing work must meet in Australia and New
Zealand. All licensed electrical contractors will have a copy of this standard
and are familiar with its requirements.
you do the electrical wiring for our renovation?
Yes. Though we specialise in
commercial and real estate work, we also provide homeowners and renovators with
affordable electrical work. From switching lights to rewiring and house
Our issues with our switchboard
out of trading hours. Can you help?
Of course. DG Electrical &
Fire is on-call 24/7 for all emergencies. We're more than
happy to get you back up and running any time of day or night.
Why is my smoke alarm beeping chirping?
As annoying as a beeping/chirping alarm is, it should
not be ignored. The smoke alarm is equipped with a sounder and LED’s in order
to communicate with you. The sounder is used when the communication is
important (or imminently dangerous).
The two main reasons that smoke alarms
chirp or beep is to alert the occupants of a low power condition or to alert of
a contaminated detection chamber. To distinguish between the two, please take
the following steps;
Power condition – For a mains primary
powered smoke alarm look at the smoke alarm and ensure that the green LED is
illuminated. You may see the red LED flash every 40 seconds, this is perfectly
normal and indicates that a “self-test” cycle has been conducted. If the green
LED is not illuminated, then there has been a mains power failure and the smoke
alarm back-up battery is nearing depletion, please check and reset the circuit
breaker in your home’s distribution board and return to examine the status of
If you have a mains primary powered smoke
alarm with a replaceable 9-volt Alkaline battery and the alarm
beeping/chirping coincides with the red LED indicator flashing (once every 40
seconds), then this is an indication that the back-up battery is in need of
replacement. Please replace the depleted battery with one of the following
If you have a mains primary powered smoke
alarm with a 10-year Lithium, rechargeable, non-replaceable battery back-up
that has been chirping/beeping as a result of mains power failure and the
battery is nearing charge depletion, the alarm may continue to chirp/beep for a
few hours while the rechargeable battery is being recharged after
mains power restoration. This will stop as soon as the battery charge point
exceeds the lower threshold.
On any occasion where the alarm head is
removed from its base-plate, this would be a convenient time to also run a
vacuum cleaner with a nozzle around the air inlet grills. This will remove any
loose dust debris that could be the cause of false alarms or beeping/chirping
in the future.
If the chirping/beeping is not being
indicated as a loss of mains power or a depleted back-up battery, then it is
likely that the smoke alarm may be contaminated with dust. Remove the alarm
head from the base and use a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle fitted or a
compressed air source to dislodge any loose dust from the chamber. Re-install
to determine if the chirping or beeping has stopped.
How often do I have to have my fire extinguishers
Extinguishers in commercial premises (warehouses, offices, retail stores,
factories etc.) and public buildings (hospitals, schools, movie theatres etc.)
as well as multi-occupancy residential buildings must be inspected every 6
months in accordance with Australian Standard 1851. This includes Fire
Extinguishers, Fire Hose Reels, and Fire Blankets etc.
How many Fire Extinguishers do I need?
step is to do a risk assessment to work out what type of fires may potentially
occur in your workplace. Placement of Fire Extinguishers is governed by
Australian Standard 2444 and the Building Code of Australia. As a guide the
requirement is one extinguisher every 15 metres if practicable for Class A
fires and every 20 metres for Class E and F fires. Obviously a common sense
approach is advised in Fire Extinguisher quantities and locations due to the
vast number of building configurations possible. This information should be
considered as a general guide, not as an exact rule.
the class of the building require it to have emergency and exit lighting?
Every class 5,6,7,8 or 9 building where the storey has a floor area more than 300m2 needs to have emergency and exit lighting.
Do I need to have my fire
systems regularly checked?
Absolutely. Aspects of your fire
protection/detection systems should all be regularly checked. Contact our
team to discuss the best schedule for your property.
ANNUAL FIRE SAFETY STATEMENTS
What is an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS)?
The annual fire safety statement is a
document issued each year by the building owner or their agent. ... It also certifies
that each of the measures is capable of performing to an appropriate standard
(specified in the fire safety schedule for the building).
is a fire safety schedule (FSC)?
The fire safety schedule is a schedule of fire
safety measures installed in the building and their standard of