The West

Fears faulty wires  may spark  roof fires
Cable fears: Safety concerns over some electrical wires. Picture: The West Australian

Up to 2500 WA homes could have been fitted with dodgy electrical wire that is liable to break down prematurely and be a fire and electric shock risk.

WA's electricity safety regulator yesterday urged households that had had electrical cabling installed between 2012 and last year to check with their builders or electricians about the safety of the product used.

It comes after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issued a recall of wire supplied by Infinity Cabling Co, an Eastern States company now in liquidation.

About 250km of the wire, imported from China, was installed in WA - about 6 per cent of the total amount rolled out across the country.

Outlets that sold it include well-known retailers such as Woolworths-owned Masters Home Improvement, Home Timber & Hardware and Thrifty-Link Hardware.

Although it is not known whether the cabling has been linked with any Australian incident, it is understood its insulation breaks down prematurely and can expose live electricity conductors.

WA is believed to be particularly susceptible to the risks given that heat is one of the main drivers of the premature deterioration and cabling is often installed in hot roof spaces.

EnergySafety's director of electricity compliance Michael Bunko said it was imperative homes or premises that had been built or had electrical repairs or renovations between 2012 and last year be checked.

Mr Bunko said though the cabling would not fail immediately, it could start happening from 2016. Suppliers of the cables - mostly retailers - had agreed to foot the cost of inspecting and, where needed, replacing cables.

"Testing has found that the cables will degrade prematurely and, if the cables are disturbed, the insulation could break and expose live conductors - resulting in possible electric shock or fires," Mr Bunko said.

"The cables will age at different rates subject to ambient temperature and may become brittle from 2016 onwards, so there is urgency that they be replaced as soon as possible."

Homeowners can contact the Masters and John Danks & Son Infinity Cable consumer hotline on 1300 236 787.

The West Australian

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