FAULTY electrical cabling in thousands of Australian homes and businesses poses a fire or electrocution risk, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has warned.
Electrical retailers and wholesalers have recalled Infinity and Olsent-branded electrical cables amid fears physical contact with the recalled cables could dislodge the insulation and lead to electric shock or fires.
Recall progress reports indicate that up to 22,000 homes, commercial and residential buildings in Australia could be affected.
The cables were supplied in Western Australia from 2012-2013 and it is estimated they could have started to degrade and become dangerous from last year.
A total of 296km of the faulty cables were used in WA.
Both the Infinity and Olsent-branded Infinity cables failed to meet electrical safety standards due to poor quality insulation (plastic coating).
Testing found the insulation on the ‘TPS’ and ‘orange round’ range of cables will become brittle prematurely, which may present a safety hazard if the cables are disturbed and the insulation breaks.
Cables exposed to prolonged high temperatures will degrade at a faster rate. Once the insulation is brittle, physical contact with the cables could dislodge the insulation and lead to electric shock or possibly fires.
“There is faulty electrical cabling in thousands of Australian homes and businesses,” the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission warned in a statement.
“Time is running out before the cables become a fire or electrocution risk.
“A taskforce of consumer agencies, building regulators and electrical safety regulators are coordinating the safety recall.
“The taskforce found there is no immediate danger; however, careful steps need to be taken to stop electrocution or fires.
“The longer-term risk is real. The cables will degrade over time and the risk of physical contact is highest in roof spaces and under raised floors. No incidents have been reported so far.”