Foil insulation causing trouble
ONE of the region’s biggest insulation installers is standing by the safety standards of the foil insulation it has put into hundreds of homes across the Valley.
Jo Doran, the general manager of Power Results based in South Grafton, said they have installed foil insulation into 1500 ceilings across the North Coast.
Of all of those homes, Mrs Doran said they have had no problems at all with any insulation conducting live electricity.
But that hasn’t stopped the Power Results phone running hot with customers concerned about the safety of foil insulation following intense national debate this week associated with the government’s Home Insulation Program and the death of four insulation installers.
There have also been emerging reports that foil insulation in hundreds of homes across Australia could become live through contact with electrical fittings.
However, Mrs Doran said the problems being discussed were associated with foil insulation installed by ‘cowboy’ installers who didn’t follow correct safety standards.
She said all of the installers working for Power Results had the appropriate qualifications and safety certificates, including white cards and a Certificate III in wall and ceiling lining.
“And we go out and double check it and make sure everything’s fine,” Mrs Doran said.
If there was a problem, Mrs Doran said one thing people could look for was short-circuiting power boards.
“If they have clips or safety switches that are shorting out all of the time, there could be a problem,” she said.
On Tuesday the Federal Government banned the installation of foil insulation under the program.
Environment Minister Peter Garrett also announced every home that has had foil insulation installed under the Government’s Home Insulation Program will undergo a free electrical safety inspection, including homes in the Clarence Valley.
Mr Garrett said the government would be writing to all homeowners who have had foil insulation installed under the HIP, advising them of the situation and their options.
A hotline has also been set up to provide information to affected householders.
The number is 131 792
Homeowners with foil insulation installed under the Home Insulation Program should first ring the Federal Government hotline on 131 792 to get a reference number.
Then contact an electrical contractor to carry out the safety inspection, and where necessary, rectify work related to the installation of foil insulation.
Give the contractor the reference number. Householders should not be out of pocket for any inspection or rectification works. The licensed electrician will be able to seek reimbursement of the costs from the Commonwealth.
Don’t go into your ceilings or attempt to check the safety of the installation yourself.
Master electricians have launched a website to help home owners to secure the Federal Government’s emergency safety inspections. Visit www.masterelectricians.com.au for more information.