Whenever you turn on your television or computer, use your hairdryer, microwave or electric drill, you take for granted the rules and specifications that help manufacturers design products that are safe and work together as expected. We take for granted the that design, construction and testing of electrical installations in the buildings we enter, our homes, work places or other, protect us against the risk of shock, fire and physical injury.
The standards that relate to electricity affect us all in our daily lives. These standards ensure the protection of life and property and the reduction of OH&S risks. They provide guidance for electricians and electrical contractors; assistance to the government; uniformity; and benchmarks for safety inspections.
The Standards Project has a number of representatives involved in the development of standards around electricity. The Standards Australia Technical Committees with CFA representatives include EL-001 Wiring Rules, EL-002 Safety of Household Electrical Appliances, EL-004 Electrical Accessories and EL-041 Lighting Equipment. Standards Australia is a member of the IEC, International Electrotechnical Commission, a non-profit, non-governmental international standards organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.
EL-001 Wiring Rules
The Australian Standards Technical Committee EL-001 Wiring rules is revising AS/NZS 3000: 2007 Electrical installations. Amendment 2 is in progress. This is the most widely distributed standard in Australia and is mandatory. It sets out requirements for the design, construction and verification of electrical installations, including the selection and installation of electrical equipment forming part of such electrical installations. These requirements are intended to protect persons, livestock, and property from electric shock, fire and physical injury hazards. The following Case study: Wired to protect lives and property is available on the Standards Australia website.
EL-004 Electrical Accessories
The Standards Australia Technical Committee EL-004 Electrical Accessories has been working on the revised edition of AS/NZS 3120 for more than 3 years. AS/NZS 3120:2011 Approval and Test Specification: Cord extension Sockets (CES) was recently published. This is the sixth edition of the standard which was first published in 1938. The previous revision was in 1999. The standard specifies essential safety requirements for cord extension sockets intended to be used at low voltages and inlet plugs, where they are exposed to personal contact. Of interest to consumers is the improvement to the safety of the mating of the socket (female) with it’s male counterpart. This is especially significant for caravans and caravan power inlets.
EL-041 Lamps and related equipment
Standards Australia Technical Committee EL-041 has completed a draft standard on recessed luminaire barriers with the objective to provide requirements to assess their safety. Over the past 2 years, the sub-committees working on Luminaires and Recessed Luminaire Barriers have been involved in substantial debate due to the issues around the Home Insulation Program. The committees have demonstrated a high level of concern for consumer interests, recognising the popularity of recessed ceiling lights; the widespread use of thermal insulation; energy saving luminaires; and domestic fires caused by such fittings. The draft standard AS/NZS 5110 Recessed luminaire barriers was recently released for public comment and the CFA Standards Representatives on the committees will continue to put forward the consumer perspective in the continuing discussions