If power supplies have not been restored to homes for any reason, householders must not connect generators or perform other electrical work around the home. Such practice is both illegal and dangerous - this work can only be carried out by licensed electricians.
Any gas appliances which has been water affected should not be used until inspected by a licensed gasfitter who will detect if they are not operating properly and if necessary shut them down.
Energy Safety Regulator
Energy Safe Victoria is the regulator responsible for electrical and gas safety in the state. This statutory authority audits the design, construction and maintenance of electricity and gas networks and installations and ensures that appliances meet stringent safety and energy efficiency standards before they are sold.
Energy Safe Victoria also conducts comprehensive public awareness safety campaigns to educate the community on the potential dangers of gas and electricity.
It is important to continue to patrol around your home and property buildings for up to six hours (and sometimes longer) after the main fire has passed through, as it is during this time that many buildings burn down due to embers. There is also the risk of vegetation reigniting from embers or smouldering fuel sources. Other hazards to monitor include falling branches and trees, holes in the ground and fallen powerlines.
If powerlines have fallen, keep clear and keep others away. The powerlines may still be live. Do not attempt to remove or prune trees which have fallen on powerlines yourself. You should call your local electricity distributor – on the faults and emergencies number on your most recent electricity bill.
If you have lost power you should contact your electricity distribution company – on the faults and emergencies number on your most recent electricity bill.
If your property has been damaged by storm or fire, you should have a licensed electrician check wiring and repair any electrical damage before you reconnect power or switch on appliances.
Care needs to be taken with the use of temporary energy generators. The leads from the generator to electrical appliances must be as short as possible and in good condition.
Temporary generators must not be installed inside buildings because of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from engine exhausts.
We recommend that you seek help from a licensed electrician to connect an energy generator.
If electricity supplies have not been restored to homes for any reason, property owners must not connect permanent generators or perform other electrical work around the home. Such practice is both illegal and dangerous – this work can only be carried out by licensed electricians.
Energy Safe Victoria also advises people to take the following precautions if using a generator:
- Correctly connect the generator. Make sure you have the appropriate power board and leads to fit the generator you are using, and make sure that they are in good working order.
- Keep your generator outside. Generators in enclosed areas such as homes, sheds or caravans, even with windows open, can cause carbon monoxide poisoning which can result in death.
- Do not overload your generator. This can cause damage to appliances feeding off the generator. If your generator is not big enough to power all appliances, appliances should be rotated.
- Place your generator in a location where the exhaust fumes do not come into contact with any combustible material.
- Always plug appliances into the generator rather than plugging the generator into the power socket as this increases the risk of electrocution.
- Take care when refuelling your generator as it is likely to be hot. Make sure the generator is off and has cooled before refuelling as petrol spilled on hot engine parts can ignite.
If you would like further information you can contact Energy Save Victoria (ESV) on (03) 9203 9700 or 1800 800 158 or go to www.esv.vic.gov.au