Tradespeople and homeowners warned of immediate risks from Infinity electrical cables

2 March 2016

Approximately 2,300km of dangerous Infinity electrical cable is still installed in thousands of homes across Australia.

It is expected that in the next couple of months the cable insulation could start to crack and this may lead to electric shock or a fire if the cables are disturbed by tradespeople or home owners/occupiers.  This represents a significant risk of serious injury or death for the many Australian households in which this electrical cabling was installed since 2010 in NSW and since 2011 elsewhere in Australia, unless it has been remediated.

Electricians, builders and other tradespeople who installed Infinity electrical cables and some Olsent electrical cable may face regulatory action including rectification orders and possible penalties if they don’t act now.

Retailers and suppliers recalling the cable are reporting that electricians and builders are ignoring requests to notify them where the cable was installed, so that it can be remediated under the supplier’s product recall.

There is also evidence that homeowners are not taking steps to have cables inspected and, where appropriate, remediated under the recall arrangements.

“Infinity cables were recalled because they deteriorate and become brittle more rapidly than normal compliant cables, especially in areas of high heat. The cable is expected to have deteriorated sufficiently by April that if disturbed it could lead to electric shock or fire in some premises,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“If you are an electrician or builder who installed the recalled electrical cable, you should immediately notify property owners, suppliers, and electrical safety authorities in order to have it remediated.”

“Homeowners who installed electrical cable from 2010 in NSW or 2011 in other States should notify the retailer they bought it from, or the electrician they used to install the cable, and arrange for a licensed electrician to carry out an inspection.  If Infinity cables are discovered, the cost of the inspection will be covered by the cable supplier along with the full cost of remediation,” Ms Rickard said.

The Infinity cables taskforce is distributing a bulletin to licensed electricians and builders throughout the country reminding them of their obligations under industry laws, and advising them about their potential liability if they fail to notify home owners and regulators.  A bulletin has been distributed to real estate associations, authorities and agents nationwide so they can alert homeowners.

Further information is available at Infinity cable recall: act now before it's too late

Data as at 31/1/2016

State

Installation period

KM supplied

KM remediated*

KM recovered from warehouses

KM scheduled for future remediation

KM outstanding (% of total national)

Properties made safe

NSW

2010-2013

1,849

73

-

-

1,776

(46 %)

204

QLD

2012-2013

680

29

-

-

651

(17 %)

271

SA

2012-2013

44

0.9

-

-

43

(1 %)

9

TAS

2013

4

0.1

-

-

4

(1 %)

1

VIC

2012-2013

910

22

-

-

888

(23 %)

88

WA

2012-2013

251

2

-

-

249

(6 %)

22

ACT

2011-2013

162

6

-

-

156

(4 %)

203

NT

-

0

-

-

-

-

N/A

State not specified

-

-

226

403

778

-

 

186

TOTAL

-

3900

359

403

778

2360**

(61 %)

984

* Remediated is replaced, rendered safe under the recall, or returned to stores.

**Cable remediated or recovered for unspecified states/territories has been deducted from total KM outstanding, as has cable scheduled for future remediation.
 

Release number: 
MR 21/16
Media enquiries: 
Media team - 1300 138 917
Additional contacts: 
ACCC Infocentre: 1300 302 502

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