2,300km of dangerous Infinity electrical cable remains in homes

Published: 
14 Jun 2016

Thousands of homes across Australia still have faulty Infinity electrical cabling installed, despite recalls of all Infinity cables announced almost two years ago.

This dangerous cable could become prematurely brittle and break when placed under stress near heat sources and roof access areas, which may lead to electric shock or a fire if the cables are disturbed by tradespeople or home owners.

“There is a significant risk of serious injury or death for the many Australians whose households had unsafe Infinity electrical cable installed from 2010 in NSW and 2011 or 2012 elsewhere in Australia,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Unless remediated, it is estimated that Infinity cable in NSW will start cracking this year and in other jurisdictions from next year. Home owners that have had any electrical work done since 2010 should contact the electrician or builder responsible for the work and ask them if they used Infinity cable or to inspect their work if they are not sure.”

“You can also pay to have your home inspected by a qualified electrician if you can’t recall the details of your installer. You should not attempt to check yourself. If the cable is confirmed as Infinity, the cost of remediation will be covered by the supplier,” Ms Rickard said.

The recall requires the cable to be removed from areas near a heat source such as an oven, or accessible areas where the cable is likely to be disturbed, such as in roof spaces. Cables encased in conduit or installed in inaccessible areas pose a reduced risk because they cannot be disturbed but must still be located and a sticker placed on your electrical box.

In addition to your rights under the recall, you may also have rights under consumer guarantees but these are determined on a case by case basis.

The ACCC is responsible for 25 voluntary recalls covering around 85 per cent of the total cable supplied. A total of 52 recalls have been in place since 2014 across all states in Australia and the ACT. We have learnt recently that cable was on-sold into the Northern Territory.

The ACCC is auditing all of the recalls it is responsible for to ensure that suppliers are remediating the cable, and to identify any suppliers that may need to do more.

“We are hearing some positive stories of electricians, builders and home owners going out of their way to fix this problem,” Ms Rickard said.

 Data as at 30/4/16

State

Installation period/

Supplied dates

KM supplied

KM remediated

KM recovered from warehouses

KM scheduled for future remediation

KM outstanding (% of total national)

Properties made safe

NSW

2010-2013

1,849

77

30

117

1657
42%

298

QLD

2012-2013

680

56

0

217

407
10%

614

SA

2012-2013

44

2

0

17

25
1%

13

TAS

2013

4

0.1

0

0

4
0.1%

1

VIC

2012-2013

910

38

0

291

581
15%

218

WA

2012-2013

251

6

0

157

88
2%

81

ACT

2011-2013

162

7

0

15

140
4%

207

NT

TBC

TBC

-

0

0.5

-

TBC

State not specified

-

-

0

569

0

-

191

TOTAL

-

3,900

186

599

814.5

2300.9

59%

1623

Contact details

Release number: MR 102/16

Media enquiries: 1300 138 917

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission