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Strata Electrical Emergency? Take Action & Call Now

An electrical emergency in your strata property can be frightening. This guide provides a clear action plan to ensure everyone’s safety. Learn what to do first and who to call to get the problem addressed quickly and professionally.

You’re rushing out the door for work when you flick on the light switch in the hallway, but nothing happens. Plunged into darkness, you realise the building’s power is out, affecting not just your unit but the entire floor. In a strata environment, electrical emergencies can be disruptive and concerning. Knowing how to react quickly and safely is crucial.

This blog will equip you with the knowledge to navigate these situations. We’ll walk you through the steps to take during a strata electrical emergency and who to contact to ensure everyone’s safety and a swift resolution.

What is Considered as a Strata Electrical Emergency

Living in a strata comes with shared responsibility, and that includes electrical safety. But what qualifies as a true electrical emergency? Knowing the difference between a minor blip and a dangerous situation can keep you, your neighbours, and your property safe.

Here’s a quick guide to help you identify a strata electrical emergency:

  • Sparks and Burning Smells: If you see sparks flying from outlets, switches, or appliances or detect a burning electrical odour, evacuate the area immediately and call for emergency help.
  • Shock Hazards: If you experience a tingling sensation or get shocked when touching an appliance or switch, turn off the power at the source and call for assistance.
  • Total Power Outage: If your entire unit or building loses power unexpectedly, especially if accompanied by flickering lights or buzzing sounds, contact your strata manager or emergency after-hours line.
  • Water Damage and Electrical Systems: Water conducts electricity, posing a serious electrocution risk. If flooding affects electrical outlets, panels, or wiring, evacuate the area and call for emergency help.

Remember: When in doubt, call it out! Amateurs shouldn’t tackle electrical emergencies. You can prevent serious injury and property damage by acting quickly and contacting the appropriate professionals.

Bonus Tip: Familiarise yourself with your strata’s emergency procedures. Knowing where to locate your building’s main electrical panel and having access to after-hours contact information can be crucial in a crisis.

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What to Do During a Strata Electrical Emergency

Identify the Source

Before taking action, residents should assess the situation calmly. Check if the electrical issue is isolated to their unit or affects the entire building. This will help determine the next steps.

Turn Off Power (if Safe)

If the problem seems isolated and there are no immediate hazards like sparking or smoke, locate the fuse box (if comfortable doing so) and try to isolate the source by flipping the appropriate switch (e.g., a tripped circuit breaker). Always prioritise safety. If unsure about the location or operation of the fuse box, leave it to a qualified electrician.

Evacuate When Necessary

If there are sparks, smoke, or any sign of immediate danger, evacuate yourself and your pets from the area immediately.

Contact the Authorities

In life-threatening situations like a fire, call emergency services (000) first.

For non-urgent electrical emergencies, contact your strata company or building manager. They will contact a qualified electrician to address the issue.

Stay Informed and Avoid Tampering

The strata company will keep residents updated on the situation through building notices or other communication channels.

Remember, electrical repairs should only be done by licensed professionals. Don’t attempt to fix the problem yourself.

Who to Call for Strata Electrical Emergencies

In the event of a suspected electrical emergency in your strata building, immediately call your strata company or building manager. They will have a licensed electrician on call for emergencies or a designated after-hours emergency contact.

Strata Electrician Lighting Emergency

Licensed Strata Electrician

For electrical work in a strata building, contacting a qualified electrician with experience in strata electrical work is crucial. They understand the unique electrical systems and regulations in these multi-unit dwellings.

Most states and territories in Australia have regulations outlining who can perform electrical work in strata buildings. These regulations ensure the work is done safely and meets specific standards.

Strata Company or Building Manager

The strata company or building manager is responsible for coordinating emergency electrician services and ensuring the overall electrical safety of the building. They maintain electrical maintenance records, organise scheduled electrical inspections, and address any identified electrical hazards.

Be Prepared and Know Who to Call!

A swift response is crucial during a strata electrical emergency. By following these steps and contacting a qualified electrician immediately, you can minimise damage and ensure the safety of residents.

Enersol Electrical boasts a team of highly trained and experienced strata electricians. We have a proven track record of handling complex electrical emergencies efficiently and safely. Don’t hesitate to contact us 24/7 for a prompt and reliable response. With Enersol, your strata’s electrical emergencies are in capable hands.

FAQs: Strata Electrical Emergencies

Strata Electrician Hard Hat

What if I can’t reach my strata manager or the emergency electrician after hours?

In rare situations where you can’t reach designated contacts, prioritise safety. If there’s a fire risk or immediate danger due to electricity (e.g., sparks causing flames, exposed live wires), call your local fire department immediately. Remember, their intervention takes precedence in such emergencies.

Who is responsible for the cost of repairs during a strata electrical emergency?

Liability for repairs depends on the location and cause of the issue. Generally, the strata corporation covers repairs in common areas (lobbies, hallways, elevators). For emergencies within your unit (tripped breaker, faulty outlet), you might be responsible for the electrician’s call-out fee, depending on the cause.

Faulty appliances within your unit are typically your responsibility, while faulty wiring in the walls would fall under the strata corporation’s purview. It’s crucial to consult your strata bylaws for specific details regarding cost allocation.

How can I report a non-emergency electrical issue in my strata unit?

For non-urgent electrical problems in your unit (flickering lights, dimming switches), contact your strata manager and report the problem in detail. They will likely arrange for a qualified electrician to visit during regular business hours. This is a more cost-effective approach compared to emergency call-out fees.

Are there any legal requirements for electrical safety in strata buildings?

Yes, most regions have regulations regarding electrical safety in common areas of strata buildings. These regulations typically fall under the umbrella of building codes or electrical safety legislation.

Your strata manager should be familiar with the relevant regulations and ensure regular maintenance is conducted on electrical systems in common areas. This may include periodic inspections and testing of emergency lighting, switchboards, and other electrical components.