Household death prompts safety warning on vacuum cleaners
The Electrical Safety Office (ESO) is asking electrical contractors to remind customers not to attempt their own electrical repairs, as an investigation begins into the death of a man last week where a vacuum cleaner was found disassembled, exposing live parts.
ESO head Dr Simon Blackwood said the vacuum cleaner was of the type that had a 240V powered head which is supplied by concealed wiring within the vacuum’s metal wand.
“While this investigation is on-going, it is a timely reminder of the risks of working with electricity and working on or near exposed live parts,” Dr Blackwood said.
“No-one without a licence should ever attempt DIY repairs on electrical equipment beyond non electrical maintenance recommended by the manufacturer. The risks to you and your family are huge.”
“It is also important to make sure your electrical appliances, electrical wiring, extension leads and other electrical equipment are regularly checked and kept in good working order.”
Dr Blackwood said installing a home safety switch was added insurance against electric shock.
“Safety switches automatically shut off the electricity supply when current is detected leaking from faulty switches, wiring or electrical appliances,” he said.
“This stops the current flowing to earth through a person and electrocuting them. It is important to note though that nothing is failsafe – safety switches should be checked every three months.”