Cables pose major fire risk

Business owners have been warned they could have a ticking time bomb in their walls, after efforts to recall a faulty brand of electrical cables have so far failed to find much success.

An estimated 4000km of Infinity- and Olsent-branded electrical cables were installed between 2010 and 2013 but were recalled last year, after it was discovered the cable’s plastic insulation coating failed to meet safety standards.

The coating is expected to become prematurely brittle from next year onwards, leading to risks of fire or electric shock if disturbed.

However, so far just 15% of the installed cable has been remediated, leaving thousands of businesses and households at risk.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Deputy Chair Delia Rickard says the cables will pose a serious risk from next year.

“Consumers that purchased new properties, undertook renovations, had appliances installed or had electrical work carried out in the past few years should contact a licensed electrician for a safety inspection to determine if Infinity cables were installed,” she says.

“An electrician would typically be able to inspect a home for around $100, though costs will vary depending upon the size, location and design of the property. Such costs can be recovered from the supplier should affected cables be discovered.

“Consumers should not attempt to inspect cables themselves. Any affected cable installed in accessible areas or near heat sources must be removed and replaced under the safety recall.”

Almost half of the affected cable is in NSW, Victoria and Queensland also featuring large quantities of it.

More details on suppliers are available here.