ROD Dodds had a close call after finding out that the insulation bats he had installed in his roof could have caused a house fire. Photo: DARRYN SMITH fir1902b
ROD Dodds had a close call after finding out that the insulation bats he had installed in his roof could have caused a house fire. Photo: DARRYN SMITH fir1902b

Owners left out in cold

BUNDABERG homeowners are still living in fear of fires and electrocution, after botched work was done at their homes under the now-scrapped government insulation scheme.

The scheme was cancelled yesterday, after claims it had led to four deaths and almost 90 house fires.

And foil insulation — which was used in the scheme — has been banned altogether after safety concerns.

But it is too late for people like Ken Dodds, who believes he was lucky not to have become the fifth person killed by the insulation installed at his home in November, using the rebate.

Despite using an accredited company, a worker’s error meant the foil came dangerously close to a downlight in his roof — and it was only sheer chance that prevented a fire.

“I was getting an extra cable installed for my computer, and the cabler noticed the problem when he was up in the roof,” Mr Dodds said.

“The insulation around the light was all charred and melted, and the cabler said I needed to get it checked out immediately.”

To his horror, Mr Dodds discovered that it was only luck and his choice of low-energy lightbulb that prevented his roof from bursting into flames.

“If I’d used a regular lightbulb, it could have gone up at any moment,” he said.

Cordalba neighbours Lex Murphy and Jenny Anderson no longer feel safe in their homes after having foil insulaton installed.

Mrs Anderson said she was not given the correct rebate paperwork by her installer, so she is not eligible for a free electrician’s check.

She and Mr Murphy used the same company, but the pair claims neither the business owner nor electricians will remove the foil.

“One said, ‘I’m not putting my boys up in the ceiling to get hurt’,” Mr Murphy said.

Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said he had alerted the government to problems with the scheme last year, but was ignored.

“The minister’s announcement today is an admission that the government botched this scheme from the start,” he said.

Anyone who had foil product installed under the scheme should call 131 792 for an urgent inspection.



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