Canberrans who had electrical work done in their homes between 2010 and 2013 should heed safety messages following a recall by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission of electrical cable known as ‘Infinity’ cable, Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, said today.
“The cable was sold in the ACT between 2011 and 2013, however it may have been available in Canberra from 2010 to 2013 as suppliers were able to purchase it in New South Wales,” Mr Corbell said.
“The ACCC has advised there is no immediate danger, however stressed consumers should not attempt to inspect any electrical cables themselves and should engage a licensed electrical contractor to do so.”
The Infinity cable has been recalled after failing electrical safety standards, due to poor quality plastic insulation coating. Tests have found that the cable will degrade prematurely and if disturbed, could break and expose live conductors. This could potentially cause electric shocks or fires.
The recall applies to all sizes and configurations of Thermoplastic-sheathed cable (TPS) and Orange Round mains power cables sourced from Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd and marked and supplied under ‘INFINITY’ and ‘OLSENT’ brands.
“While there is no cause for immediate concern in relation to Infinity cable, it is best in these circumstances to be safe and avoid potential issues in future. I urge property owners not to get into roof spaces or under floors themselves to check for the presence of Infinity cables; use the services of a qualified electrical contractor.” Mr Corbell said.
“Households and businesses that have had electrical wiring work carried out between 2010 and 2013 should contact the responsible builder, electrical contractor or appliance installer to confirm whether Infinity cable was used.”
The cable supplier should arrange for an inspection of the wiring and remediation of any installed Infinity cable that they supplied, free of charge to the consumer. Any affected cable installed in accessible areas or near heat sources must be removed and replaced or sleeved in an appropriate conduit under the safety recall, the ACCC has advised. An appropriate residual current device should also be fitted to remaining cabling in inaccessible areas.
“Cables will age at different rates, depending on the ambient temperature and the load placed on them. The current expert advice we have received is that this cable may become brittle from 2016 onwards, and suppliers have been asked to assess and work on the oldest or highest risk installations first,” Mr Corbell said.
For those who are uncertain whether Infinity cable was installed, the installer or their supplier should be given the first opportunity to arrange an inspection of the wiring.
“If you are uncertain who installed the electrical wiring, you can arrange for a licensed electrical contractor to inspect your wiring. However, inspection costs are not recoverable from cable suppliers if Infinity cable was not installed or if the cable installer and supplier cannot be determined,” Mr Corbell said.
Any unused or removed Infinity cable may be returned to the cable supplier for a full refund or replacement.
The ACCC has advised that the consumer guarantees of the Australian Consumer Law may apply to protect those who have had Infinity cable installed, depending on the circumstances.
“I strongly encourage property owners who may be affected to contact the responsible builder, electrical contractor or appliance installer to check the work they have done.” Mr Corbell said.