26 September 2023

Experts blow in for cyclone recovery

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Officers from Building and Energy are providing on-ground support in the Mid-West, sharing electrical and gas safety advice for people in cyclone-affected areas who may be using portable equipment or returning to damaged properties.

Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan said Building and Energy staff were working closely with electrical network operators, including Western Power and Horizon Power, as well as gas suppliers and local professionals.

“Technical building officers from Building and Energy have joined experts from James Cook University’s Cyclone Testing Station to inspect buildings in the Northampton and Kalbarri areas and examine why and how damage occurred,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.

“The team’s findings will be published in coming weeks with a focus on building performance, particularly in locations where tropical cyclones are less common, and if construction standards can be improved to better protect communities.”

He said it was imperative to help safely restore services in the affected areas and to share the Agency’s expertise to reduce damage and dangers in the future.

“We also want to ensure that people who have sadly been displaced by this disaster are not exposed to any dangers when using emergency equipment such as generators and LP gas appliances, which can have electrical safety and carbon monoxide risks,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.

“When returning to their properties, residents should be aware of potential hazards and avoid turning on the power or electrical and gas appliances until they can be checked by a professional.”

He urged returning residents not to do any electrical, gas and plumbing work themselves — “always use a licensed electrician, gas fitter or plumber”.

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