Storm Season – Have You Got Surge Protection & Safety Switches?

Summer is just around the corner – that means days by the beach, BBQs with family and friends, and all round fun in the sun. But with our beautiful Gold Coast summer also comes wild weather and ferocious storms. To protect your devices, and of course you and your family, you must have both surge protection and a safety switch.

Why Do I Need Surge Protection?

Did you know that nearly all home and contents insurance policies do not cover damage caused by power fluctuations unless lightning can be proven to be the cause? And of course, there is no way of controlling the weather.

Alarmingly, damage costs to household goods from lightning are estimated at up to $10 million each year in Australia. You don’t even need to receive a direct lightning hit for there to be a dramatic surge or spike in the power entering your home or business (or for your appliances and equipment to be potentially ruined).

Lightning is a killer of all electronic devices! Surge protectors safeguard your appliances and wiring from voltage surges such as a lightning strike. Ask us about having surge protection installed in your switchboard to protect all of your appliances. A small investment in surge protection now could save you thousands of dollars to replace electrical items.

Why Do I Need a Safety Switch?

Safety switches are your insurance against electric shock. They are designed to prevent injury or death. They monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit and automatically shut off the electricity supply when current is detected leaking from faulty switches, wiring or electrical appliances. This stops the chance of current flowing to earth, through a person and electrocuting them.

By law, all homes built since 1992 must have safety switches installed on power circuits. And, if you are building a new home, you must have a safety switch installed on both power and lighting circuits. Speak to us today if you need to have a safety switch installed or your current switch needs to be replaced.

Storm Scenarios – What Should I Do?

If your power goes out, look out the window or contact neighbours to check if the interruption is affecting only your property or is more widespread.

If you can see or hear something that could help identify the problem, like a loud bang or hanging powerlines, stay well clear and contact your energy distributor. If not, listen to your local radio station who will normally report when the power is expected to be restored.

If you’re experiencing dull or flickering lights, ‘brown out’, low voltage or partial supply, turn off and unplug appliances like your refrigerator, television, computer and DVD at the power point. Do not touch your switchboard or anything metal in your home and call us immediately.

How Should I Deal with Electrical or Solar Panel Damage?

It’s important to safely clean-up after a storm. Review the following list and be aware of the risks.

  • Continue to listen to your local radio station for further warnings and advice.
  • Stay clear of electrical signs, street lights, electrical cables, foil insulation or other conductive material that may be lying around your house
  • Don’t touch a damaged switchboard. Stay away from switchboards if they are damaged by water, fire or if lightning is close, and warn others to do the same.
  • Do not do your own electrical work as it is illegal and dangerous. Always use a licensed electrical contractor to do all your electrical work.
  • If you have a solar power generating system, avoid getting on the roof unless absolutely necessary and keep away from solar panels and their cables.
  • Ensure your electrical goods are maintained once the damage has been repaired. You can take a look at our electrical maintenance services here.

Sources: Mouths of Mums, Queensland Government, Ergon Energy.

Be sure to call your local Gold Coast electrician, AMP’D Electrical & Solar, before your energy distributor. If the wires have been torn down in a black out, most houses will require internal repairs before the power can be reconnected. In those cases, you need to contact an electrician before the distributor is called out, as your electricity distributor will be unable to assist until the wiring is fixed.

If you would like any further information on surge protection or safety switches, or need either installed before storm season gets into swing, please do not hesitate to contact AMP’D Electrical & Solar on 07 5522 5222 or email us at

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