Do I Really Need a Qualified Electrician?
Electricity is very dangerous and if not treated carefully it can be fatal. This is probably the most important reason for hiring a professional to install your lights. Doing your own electrical work can result in faulty connections and grounding or overloaded circuits. These can all result in devastating fire, injury, and death. Even simple overheating of wires can cause a fire.
This type of DIY electrical work is not only dangerous for the installer, but also for those who come in contact with the work in later years. The initial installation may seem fine however a catastrophic fault may develop over time.
The second important reason to always hire a qualified electrical contractor is that it is illegal not to. The Australian Standard 3000:2007 “Electrical Installations or Australian and New Zealand Wiring Rules” define an electrical job as “The manufacturing, installing, testing, maintaining, repairing, altering, removing or replacing of electrical equipment”. Any of these jobs require an electrical contractor to complete the work. These laws are also laid out in the QLD Electrical Safety Act 2002.
Specific jobs related to lighting that are forbidden by law without a Licence are:
- Replacing a light switch
- Replacing a batten holder with a new light fitting
- Replacing a light fitting with a ceiling fan
- Replacing a plug on the end of a lead
DIY electrical work is illegal and carries penalties up to $40,000 for an individual. A breach of this law that exposes people to risk of death or serious injury carries a maximum penalty of $600,000 or 3 years in prison for an individual or $3,000,000 or five years in prison for a corporation.
Insurance companies will also not pay out in instances of fire where there is evidence of illegal electrical work. This could end up very costly when house or contents are lost or damaged by fire.
Licensed electricians have extensive experience and are required to keep up with the latest codes and laws. When renovating, an electrician will have experience threading wires through existing walls with minimal damage, assessing the capacity and viability of existing circuits and will be able to evaluate the need for any additional service panels to handle increased demand through new fittings. They will understand the specific laws relating to wet areas and the different requirements necessary for lights and wiring in these areas. These are all areas that a DIYer may not think of.
Basically, unless you are simply changing a light bulb, the work needs to be done by an electrician. Noosa Lighting are always happy to recommend a good electrician, we work with the local electricians every day so know the ones that are reasonably priced, reliable and do a good job. Always hire a reputable contractor and check their licence number to verify that it is up to date. In QLD this can be checked at www.justice.qld.gov.au. For more information regarding the laws and requirements for electrical work visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au .