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State Government Launching Electrical Safety Campaign

Perth, Austrailia – ALMOST 30 West Australians, including eight children, have died from electrocution in the past 17 years.

This very sombre statistic has prompted the State Government and Energy Safety to launch a new campaign to prevent people from being electrocuted in their homes and workplaces.

Starting from today, a television, radio and newspaper advertising campaign will encourage homeowners and businesses in pre-2000 homes to have Residual Current Devices (RCDs) fitted.

An RCD is an electrical safety device fitted to the main meter box or switchboard of a house or business and can detect any imbalance in the electrical current or leakage to earth and immediately cuts the electricity supply to avoid electrocution.

In the past 17 years, 29 people – including eight children – have been fatally electrocuted in WA homes.

Twenty-three of these deaths could have been prevented had RCDs been fitted.

Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien said today the campaign would be aimed at improving the take-up of RCDs in West Australian homes.

“The purpose of this campaign is to say to people, don’t wait until you have to sell your home to have and RCD fitted,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It is a proactive and important step in making sure that West Australians and their children are safeguarded in their own home.”

It had been compulsory since 2000 for all newly built homes and businesses to have two RCDs fitted as part of the initial electrical installation.

The State Government introduced regulations to require all homes for sale to have two RCDs fitted before the property could be sold.

Seniors who install RCDs in their home could also be eligible for a rebate of up to $200.

Energy Safety executive director Ken Bowron said about 20 to 30 per cent of West Australian homes were fitted with RCDs.

“Certainly by making them mandatory for new homes…we’ll be heading towards 70 per cent (covered) over 15 years,” Mr Bowron said.

“But we’re unhappy that that’s not fast enough so we are trying to get people to put them in voluntarily earlier.”

Story via PerthNow.com.au

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