My House Caught on Fire after Electrical Work

January 25, 2020

My House Caught on Fire after Electrical Work

Have you heard that one before? What about “I got an electric shock after an electrician installed a new light in my home”?  

Sadly, we’ve heard them all, and even sadder is that it isn’t a common occurrence. Let us tell you about one client. To protect them, we will call him Rod. 

Rod needed some electrical work done in his home as part of a renovation. He was looking to have some additional power points installed, as well as some new lights and a new oven and cooktop.  

Rod did what most homeowners do when they are planning extensive electrical work – he called around and got a few quotes. He also made a few complaints about how expensive some of the complaints came back in at, comparing them to how his mechanic can do a service so much cheaper, or how the plumber doing work on the property was charging half those quoted prices.  

Unfortunately, he also did what many homeowners do and went with the cheapest quote. Fair enough, we know people are looking to save money where they can. After speaking to Rod though, we also found out that he didn’t ask if the electrician who quoted for the job was licensed or insured.  

So, Rod went ahead and had the work done that he had been quoted for. All seemed to go smoothly, the electrician was in and out quickly and cleaned up his mess (like all good electricians should do!). What Rod didn’t realise is what happened behind the walls – the electrician hadn’t wired the power points in correctly, and the lights weren’t tested to see if they were working correctly.  

A few nights later, Rod’s wife turned on the oven to cook dinner, popped dinner in the oven and sat down to relax. She opened the oven door about 15 minutes later and found the inside of the oven on fire. It too hadn’t been wired in properly.  

Now Rod and his wife were very lucky. When PRF Electrical sent our team members out, we found so much wrong with the wiring that had been done, that we were surprised their whole house hadn’t caught fire in the middle of the night.  

What Went Wrong? 

The first thing that had gone wrong is that Rod had chosen the cheapest quote he got (and it was very cheap). Nothing unusual, but by doing this, he had chosen to use an electrician who had already lost their license and couldn’t be insured due to similar work done on other homes.  

What is a Reasonable Price for Electrical Work? 

We don’t need to say how dangerous electricity can be, both to homeowners and to electricians. Our office team at PRF Electrical often get asked why electrical work is expensive, and it really comes down to three factors – the risks involved, the legal obligations we must meet, and our licensing and regulatory requirements.  

Still wondering why your mechanic can do a car service cheaper than your electrician can install some lights and power points? Electrical incidents can be fatal – much like what could have happened to Rod and his family if they weren’t lucky enough (if you can call it that) to cook in their oven that night.  

What to Look for in Your Electrician 

Rod did well in getting a few quotes for the work he was having done, but where he really went wrong was not asking for a copy of the electrician’s license. Here in Western Australia, all electricians must be licensed, and they must adhere to the relevant legislation and regulations. If you are looking for an electrician to do work in your home, ask for their license number and check it out online. Anyone not willing to provide these details to you, shouldn’t be given your hard-earned dollars.  

If you are concerned about the cost, like Rod was, ask a few questions – what work is happening, how many electricians will be on-site, do they guarantee their work, what quality of parts will they be using and so on.  

PRF Electrical provides a range of services to homeowners across Perth.  Ensure you have peace of mind about who is working in your home by choosing licensed and experienced electricians.  

Electrical Advice, Residential Electrical Advice