Amelior Insulation

Amelior Insulation
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Electrical Safety Inspection Before Installing Insulation

The switchboard has been locked by Amelior Insulation to ensure power is not turned on during an installation.

With so many electrical cables running through a house, the question will often arise as to where the homeowner must arrange an electrical safety inspection before underfloor or ceiling insulation is installed. The answer depends on which state or territory you are in. In the ACT it is required and in NSW it is recommended but not mandatory.

What Does an Electrician Do?

An electrician specialises in installing, maintaining and repairing electrical systems. Their primary role involves working with wiring, circuitry and electrical components to ensure the safe and efficient distribution of electricity. Electricians may work on a range of projects, from residential homes and commercial buildings to industrial facilities. Some common tasks electricians do on a day-to-day basis include:

  • installing electrical systems in new constructions
  • troubleshooting and fixing electrical issues like power outages or faulty wiring
  • inspecting wiring in the roof of old buildings and certifying its compliance
  • testing electrical systems for safety and compliance
  • upgrading outdated systems to meet safety standards
  • reviewing construction plans for wiring layouts and specifications
  • installing and maintaining lighting fixtures, outlets and other electrical devices.

Electrical Hazards in the Roof Space

One common concern involves the presence of live electrical wiring in the roof, which, if damaged or improperly installed, can pose a life-threatening hazard. It’s essential to check for any exposed or frayed wires that may become a source of electrical shock or fire.

In addition to potential mould growth, electrical faults can be exacerbated if the roof space is exposed to water damage. Proper ventilation and addressing any water leaks ASAP will help to minimise these risks.

For anyone working in the roof space, being cautious around electrical equipment and taking the right safety steps (e.g. turning off power before any maintenance or installation) is vital. Consult with a qualified electrician for any electrical work you need done in your house – DIY is not an option here.

An insulation installer carefully navigates the roof space, ensuring he doesn't step on the cables.
It's crucial to avoid stepping on cables in the roof space.

Potential Risks of Working Near Electrical Hazards

Working near electrical hazards poses various risks that can lead to grievous accidents, injuries and even death. These risks can be mitigated almost entirely by switching off the main power to the house and using an Electrical Lockout Kit to ensure that it remains off until the last worker has exited the roof. The seriousness of accidents caused by electrical hazards should never be underestimated. The main risks are summarised below:

Electric shock or electrocution

The most immediate risk is electric shock, which occurs when the body becomes part of an electrical circuit. This can lead to burns and serious injuries, including memory loss, cardiac arrest, brain damage and permanent heart damage. While an electric shock results in severe injuries, electrocution refers to when the victim has been killed by the electrical charge.

Arc flash and blast

High-energy arc flashes can occur during a short circuit, causing a sudden release of intense heat, light and pressure. This can lead to severe burns, hearing damage and other traumatic injuries.


Working in the roof space comes with the risk of falling from heights. In some cases, a fall can lead to an electric shock if the worker comes into contact with live electrical components. Similarly, if a worker gets shocked and then falls from a height, they may suffer secondary injuries such as broken bones and damaged organs.

Fire hazards

Electrical malfunctions or overloads can cause fires. Flammable materials (e.g. roofing timbers) near electrical equipment may exacerbate the risk.


In certain industrial settings, the presence of flammable gases or vapours combined with electrical sparks can lead to explosions.

Electrical cables in the roof space during an insulation installation.
Installing insulation in the roof space is high risk work. Safety should always be #1 priority.

Licencing Requirements for Electricians in NSW

According to Fair Trading NSW, you must have an electrical licence to carry out any electrical wiring tasks in NSW. This applies irrespective of the job’s cost or whether it’s for residential, commercial or industrial purposes.

Doing electrical wiring work without a proper licence or certificate is considered an offence. Individuals may face a fine of $22,000, and companies can be fined a whopping $110,000 for breaching these laws.

Electricians in Australia have undergone 4 years of classroom and on-the-job training. The process to become a qualified electrician is roughly as follows:

  1. Get a White Card for eligibility to work on construction sites – this card never expires!
  2. Consider completing a Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) (UEE22020).
  3. Complete an apprenticeship, and obtain a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30820)
  4. Apply for an Electrician’s Licence.
  5. Obtain other relevant licences, e.g. working at heights or in confined spaces.

A qualified electrician is expected to comply with all relevant regulations and complete their work to a high standard.

Is an Electrical Safety Inspection Required Before Insulation is Installed?

Whether an electrical safety inspection is mandated depends on the state/territory.

In the ACT, any work done under the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard for Ceiling Insulation in Rental Homes  requires an electrical safety inspection before commencing any insulation work. It must be conducted by a licenced electrician who will check the property for any issues that could cause damage or put people at risk. This requirement took effect in April 2023.

After inspecting the property, the electrician will provide you with a safety inspection report, noting any electrical issues that must be fixed before installing new ceiling insulation. Once the repairs are taken care of, the electrician will complete Section B of the inspection report and give you a Certificate of Electrical Safety. The electrician must submit this certificate to the ACT Government within 14 days of the installation. As the homeowner, it’s generally your responsibility to give a copy of the completed form to the insulation installer before they start installing or upgrading insulation in your Canberra home.

In NSW, an electrical safety inspection is not currently required before installing insulation. But, if you are concerned about the electrical safety of your home, it’s recommended you get in touch with a licenced electrician. The electrician can do a safety check and address any concerns you might have.

Many cables run along the inside of a roof in a Sydney home.
An electrical safety inspection must be conducted before insulation is installed in the ACT.

What Does the Electrician Provide After a Safety Inspection?

A record of testing must be maintained until the electrical equipment undergoes the next test, is permanently removed from the workplace, or is disposed of. Safe Work NSW states that this record should include:

  • the name of the tester
  • the date when the testing occurred
  • the results of the testing
  • the date for the next scheduled testing.

This information can be documented using a durable tag attached to the tested electrical equipment. As is the case in the ACT, a report should also be given to the resident (and if applicable; the landlord).

How to Choose an Electrician

A professional and reliable electrician will have:

  • Licence and certification. Ensure the electrician is licenced and holds relevant certifications.
  • Experience. Look for an electrician with a solid track record and experience in the specific type of work needed. A professional will usually have a high-quality thermal imaging camera amongst other tools.
  • References. Check for customer reviews or ask for references to gauge their past performance, especially if it’s a big job.
  • Insurance. Confirm they have insurance coverage to protect against any potential liabilities.
  • Communication skills. A good electrician should be clear, honest and communicative about the work, costs and timelines.
  • Punctuality. Reliability is key; a good electrician should be punctual and adhere to agreed-upon schedules.

Every licenced electrician will have a number, which can be searched and verified on this website. Don’t be afraid to ask for ID when the electrician turns up to your house. 

If you’re looking for certified insulation installers who will prioritise safety throughout the whole process, contact Amelior Insulation today. In addition to regular installations, we do insulation removals and roof insulation inspections. Our team looks forward to hearing from you and helping you with your insulation needs.