Scott Harding from Coastal Solarwise looks over his product as the company moved yesterday to reassure customers there was nothing to fear in the wake of the latest insulation-related death.
Scott Harding from Coastal Solarwise looks over his product as the company moved yesterday to reassure customers there was nothing to fear in the wake of the latest insulation-related death. Valerie Horton

Local insulation checks out ok

ONE OF the district’s biggest roof insulation companies, Coastal Solarwise, has moved to reassure hundreds of its customers they have nothing to fear in the wake of the latest “live roof” scare.

Greg Smith from Coastal Solarwise said he was confident the installations carried out by his company in the Fraser Coast district had not turned ceiling spaces into death traps.

“Firstly, we rarely used metal staples and also foil was only used in around 50 per cent of installations,” he said.

“We will be doing a safety check on every installation and we ask that people stay out of their roof cavities until after we call to check.

“We will be in contact with all our clients and in the meantime they should remember there is no need to panic.”

While safety checks are under way on the Fraser Coast the Federal Government remains under heavy attack from the Opposition over its $3.7 billion roof insulation program.

Electricians around the country are now scrambling to check almost 50,000 homes which could have “live” roofs.

It’s also been revealed that in many areas installers were not required to have any training.

Mandatory training started yesterday – almost a year after the program began, despite a string of warnings that untrained installers were dangerous and reports of homes catching fire because of poorly installed batts.

Last October, after one installer had died fitting the metal insulation, Environment Minister Peter Garrett met with Master Electricians Australia to discuss safety.

“Master Electricians were very concerned in general terms that metal fasteners and foil insulation posed an unacceptable safety electrocution risk,” Mr Garrett told parliament of the meeting.

The electricians asked him to suspend the use of metal insulation in the program and issued a media release calling for the metal insulation to be removed from the scheme.

Mr Garrett refused to do so.

Under the government’s insulation scheme, announced early last year, homes got free ceiling insulation to the value of $1200. More than 48,000 homes have been fitted with foil insulation under the program.

Updated government advice indicates 1000 of the homes could have “live” roofs, which means anyone who goes into the roof cavity could die.

The government says it will pay for safety audits for all the homes, at an estimated $19m cost.




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