Make it future ready – cable it nbn™ ready

Connected houses are transforming the property market, with many home buyers expecting homes to be equipped with smart cabling. The nbn™ network is made up of a mix of technologies and installing cabling can change from home to home. Stay up to date with industry and avoid the risk of delays or additional fees by getting cabling done right the first time.

Click here to access your copy of “Cabling for the smart home of tomorrow”.

New Consumer Guide to Smart Wiring Ready For your Clients

ACRS and its partners have collectively worked on a guide for consumers to explain their options for smart wiring to accompany the rollout of the NBN. The guide provides simple explanations and pictorials of wiring and cabling solutions for modern households and allows the home owners to map out with their Cabler what systems they want for their house.

The Guide covers:

  • Communications
  • Entertainment
  • Energy Management
  • Security
  • Health and Assisted Aged Living
  • Intelligent Lighting and Power and
  • Electrical Vehicle Charging

Click here to access your copy of The guide to provide to your customers.

The Government’s superannuation changes clear parliament, see how they affect you!

The Government’s reform package of super changes, first announced in this year’s May Federal Budget, have successfully passed through both houses ofparliament. The changes will come into effect on 1 July 2017.

Click here to read more.

ACMA Audits and Inspections for 2016-2017

At a recent Registrar Co-Ordinating Committee meeting the ACMA compliance group outlined the Priority Compliance Areas (PCAs) for 2016-2017. This was after earlier seeking input from registrars and other interest groups.

As a result they are implementing a customer cabling compliance program under this PCA. The purpose of this program will be to obtain intelligence about the compliance standing of customer cabling installation and act on instances of non-compliance.

The ACMA proposes to instigate a tailored ‘cabling work program’ for its Field Officers, who will:

  • Gauge the level of ‘customer cabling’ compliance in multi dwelling and single premises constructions In both domestic and industrial sites
  • Ascertain ‘administrative’ compliance (i.e check of relevant cabling registrations, the provision of TCA1 forms)

ACRS certainly welcome an improved compliance system in the Telecommunications sector.

To ensure you receive your renewal reminder on time and never get caught working illegally, a thirty second free call is all it takes to keep ACRS up to date and in the loop.

If you have recently changed address, mobile or email, please notify ACRS by calling our friendly administration team on 1300 667771

Electrical installations in ceiling spaces

It is important that electrical contractors and electrical workers ensure compliance with the Wiring Rules, AS/NZS 3000 when installing electrical equipment and wiring in an accessible ceiling space.

Unprotected and poorly placed electric cables can easily be damaged by people entering a ceiling space. Home occupiers and workers installing plumbing, telephone, audio, data and air conditioning services are then at risk of electric shock, either through direct contact with live parts or contact with structural metal work that has become live.

Walking on, dragging objects over, or placing objects on cable installed in a ceiling can damage cable insulation, exposing live conductors. Cables installed over structural members in locations where they are likely to be disturbed therefore require additional protection due to the higher risk of damage. In addition, electrical workers should be aware of sharp edges when installing cables around or on metallic and non-metallic building elements.

The Wiring Rules, AS/NZS 3000 outlines requirements for protection, location and support when installing cables in ceiling spaces, both solid and suspended.

The Electrical Safety Office is currently auditing electrical installations installed in ceiling spaces to ensure they are compliant with the Wiring Rules and additional mechanical protection is installed where required.

Further information:

View more information on electrical safety in ceiling spaces.

How to Mitigate Against Insurance Risks

(This article was written by Paul Stathis, CEO BICSI South Pacific Ltd & BRCA)

All cabling designers and installers have various insurance policies to mitigate against risks they encounter, but what about mitigating against risks from insurance companies themselves?

The risk is exposure to subrogation – a legal right that enables insurance companies to claim back monies they’ve paid on an insurance claim from parties somehow connected to what’s insured.

The risk is complex, but the solution is simple – compliance. Let’s explain with an example:

You’re a contractor who installed cabling in an office, including running it through a fire-rated wall as instructed in the consultant’s specification. It’s all done in compliance with the specification, local cabling standards and regulations and Building Code, and gets signed off by the consulting engineer.

So far, so good.

Five years later, another contractor runs additional cabling through your correctly sealed firewall penetration, drilling holes through it and stuffing fire pillows around the new cables.

A year later, a small fire that wasn’t contained by the compromised firewall engulfs the building. The insurance company dutifully pays the $10 million insurance claim, but then seeks to recoup the monies paid using subrogation.

From the Fire Brigade’s report, the insurer discovers the firewall was compromised through the penetration you made six years earlier and deems you and the consultant to have contributed to the extensive fire damage, allocating 30% ‘proportionate liability’ to you and 20% liability to the consultant. After all, you put the penetration in the firewall in the first place, even though it was done correctly.

Ask anyone in the fire or insurance industries and they will confirm this is a very real and common situation. So how do you protect yourself from having to pay millions for something you weren’t responsible for?

The answer: compliance. But not just doing the works in compliance with codes and regulations, but documenting it correctly to validate that you were compliant.

The TCA1 and TCA2 (Telecommunications Cabling Advice) forms are your ‘get out-of-jail’ cards. Completing, submitting and retaining these forms is mandated by the ACMA as proof of your compliant work, but equally important, they show what and when you did and didn’t do, so you can distance yourself from cabling carried out by someone else.

So if there’s a significant issue somewhere you’ve done work, like a fire or injury that gets insurance companies involved – even years later – you have the documentation to defend yourself from being held accountable for someone else’s shoddy work.

The risk of subrogation should also alert you about the products you install – do they have a legitimate ACMA RCM?

We only have to think back to the recent Infinity electrical cable scandal and the apartment fire in Melbourne’s Docklands to realise the serious impact of selecting (knowingly or unknowingly) non-compliant products. Not only will the authorities chase you for non-compliance, but the insurance companies will hunt you down and never stop until they make you pay for the damages. Don’t risk it – ensure you are compliant to the regulations.

Cabling provider rules

The cabling industry is regulated by the Telecommunications Cabling Provider Rules 2014 (CPRs).

CPRs promote safety and maintain network integrity with requirements including:

  • cabling work in the telecommunications, fire, security and data industries must be performed by a registered cabler
  • cablers must obtain an Open, Restricted or Lift registration that meets the ACMA’s requirements
  • cabling work must comply with the Wiring Rules
  • telecommunications cabling is separated from electrical cabling
  • cablers install only cabling equipment that complies with the requirements of the Labelling Notice
  • cablers must provide a job sign-off form
  • registered cablers must directly supervise an unqualified cabler’s cabling work
  • a qualified cabler must accept full responsibility for the work done by an unqualified cabler and ensure all rules are complied with
  • cablers provide all reasonable cooperation and assistance to ACMA inspectors and cabling auditors
  • cablers notify their registrar of any change of contact details within 21 days.