With recent warnings advising that this storm season could be even more dangerous than before, Fully Wired are providing some expert advise on how to ensure your property is well prepared.
The storm season is well and truly upon us and along with it comes an increased danger to yourself and to your property. It’s important to be prepared for an impending storm or rain event and below is a list of things you can do for yourself and/or the body corporate to improve safety.
PREPARE YOUR PROPERTY FOR STORMS AND FLOODS
- Install a safety switch on all recommended circuits and test it regularly.
- Know where to turn off your power supply in an emergency.
- Pack up electrical equipment that’s not in use and store in a safe place.
- Unplug outside TVs and non-fixed aerials and store in a dry area.
- When a storm approaches switch off and unplug electrical equipment
- Shut down your solar PV system using the safe isolation procedure.
- Listen to your local radio station for weather updates
- If you’ve lost power, turn off your power points and unplug electrical equipment.
- Don’t use a fixed telephone during a thunderstorm – it can deliver an electric shock
- If flood waters are expected, shift electrical equipment to higher locations.
CLEAN UP AFTER STORMS AND FLOODS
- Continue to listen to your local radio station for further warnings and advice.
- Stay away from the vicinity of any fallen powerlines. Report any fallen, low or damaged lines to the emergency services or your local electricity distribution entity.
- Stay clear of electrical signs, street lights, electrical cables, foil insulation or other conductive material that may be lying around your house/unit
- If you’ve lost power, contact your local electrical distribution entity who should be able to advise when power will be reconnected.
- Don’t touch a damaged switchboard. Stay away from switchboards if they are damaged by water, fire or if lightning is close, and warn others to do the same.
- Do not do your own electrical work, it’s illegal and dangerous. Always use a licensed electrical contractor to do all your electrical work.
- If you have a solar power generating system, avoid getting on the roof unless absolutely necessary and keep away from solar panels and their cables.
The above information is referenced and can be found on the following Queensland government website:
HOW IT CAN AFFECT YOUR BODY CORPORATE
Often after a severe storm we see a high volume of requests to fix various electrical issues. Lighting specifically is a common problem and a safety concern if they are not operating at night. Below is a list of common issues and advice on rectification
- No community lights – Common causes are faulty light circuit due to water ingress in to a light fitting, or the timer is out of sequence. If the circuit is faulty an electrician should be contacted to rectify
- Timer out of sequence – A loss of power to the timer circuit causes this issue and can easily be rectified by resetting the timer to the correct time.
- Loss of power to your unit/complex – Call Energex on 136 262 to ascertain if there is a loss of power to your address. If you can see your neighbours have power then there may be an issue with your complex/unit. An electrician should be contacted to rectify
- Loss of TV reception – TV aerial boosters are often powered by community power. If the reception is not working it is likely due to a fault in the community power circuit. An electrician should be contacted to rectify
- Garage doors not working – Caused by a faulty power circuit. If the safety switch cannot be re-set then an electrician should be contacted to rectify
- Leaking roofs in your unit – When water is seen dripping from your roof an electrician should be contacted IMMEDIATELY and power switched off to the unit at the main switchboard. Call the relevant institution to have the water leak fixed immediately
At the end of the day prevention is always better than cure. If you are unsure about what to do contact your electrician for advice. Be prepared and stay safe!