A fatal electrical accident recently occurred where a home owner incorrectly wired up some light fittings that they had purchased.

Although as a home owner you may undertake a limited range of electrical wiring work, for your own safety, and the safety of others, this work must be undertaken in accordance with established electrical codes of practice.

All home owner wiring must be carried out in accordance with the New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice for Home-owner/Occupier's Electrical Wiring Work in Domestic Installations (NZCEP 51:2004).

If you have any doubts about your ability to conduct the wiring work safely or about the method of installing light fittings, please employ a licensed electrical worker to carry out the installation for you.

Always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions.  It should be noted that the surface temperatures of some high wattage light fittings may not be suitable for mounting directly on to walls, ceilings, plaster-board, timber or MDF board and special precautions may be required.

Don't rely only on colour to identify the wiring in the fitting.  Take care to correctly identify the wiring of the light fitting by reading installation instructions and identifying marks on the fitting.

Note that the colour coding of the fixed wiring within your home and colour coding of wiring in the light fittings may not match.

If you are unable to verify the connections consult with a licensed electrical worker, or get them to carry out the installation.

If there is an earth terminal on the fitting and no earth with the fixed house wiring, consult with a licensed electrical worker or get them, or an electrical contractor, to install the fitting if it is safe to do so.

Failure to follow this information may result in electric shock injury or a fatality to yourself or a member of your family.  An electrically initiated fire is another risk that could result in injury, loss of life or property damage.

For further assistance contact a licensed electrical worker or Energy Safety if you have any questions or require further information.