Securing your property has become a part of sensible living, particularly if you are a homeowner. Strong, durable locks make up an essential part of an overall security plan to protect your belongings and help guarantee your family’s personal safety.
The same need for protection can be applied to your meter boxes. Securing these with adequate locks will prevent unauthorised access and give you peace of mind. However, what’s the best way to go about doing so? Should you use standard padlocks? Or do you need a different type of locking mechanism?
Professional advice states that you shouldn’t use an ordinary lock to secure your meter box as doing so will prevent companies trying to read your meter if you are out of the house. Worse, it would mean they wouldn’t be able to access your meter in the event of an emergency.
The answer is to install a WAS (Western Australian Services) lock:
- Abus Padlock 83/45 WAS (Western Power Master Keyed) $62
- Abus Padlock 72/40 Titanium Western Power $58
What is a WAS Lock?
It is a special lock designed for West Australians which secures your meter and protects it from malicious damage. However, the difference with the WAS lock is that the master key is held by essential service utilities. This allows access for representatives of these essential services, including Alinta Energy, Western Power, Synergy and the Water Corporation when they are required to read the meter, or shut it down during an emergency. These services retain a master key to allow them access at all times.
Why should you lock your meter boxes?
Your meter box contains a number of electrical components, all of which are essential to delivering electricity to your home.
According to Western Power: “Your meter box houses a number of electrical components including the meter, main switch, fuses and circuit breakers, which control the flow of electricity into your home. For safety reasons it is recommended that all meter boxes be fully secure.”
Unfortunately, there are those who wish to gain access to your meter box for the wrong reasons. Some may wish to turn off the power as a harmless – yet potentially dangerous – prank. Thieves have also been known to access the meter box to turn off power during attempted robberies.
The scenario of an intruder being able to cut power through easy access to your home and meter box is a very real and frightening one.
Where can you buy a WAS lock?
An approved Western Australian Services (WAS) lock is available from licensed locksmiths like us here at Lock, Stock & Farrell, hardware stores and security suppliers in the State of Western Australia. Various types of the master keyed locks are sold throughout these places to suit your needs.
How do you install a WAS Lock?
A WAS lock is installed in the same way as a regular padlock, the only difference being the master keys are kept by the utility services.
At Lock, Stock & Farrell we also stock Hasp Locks – these are 2-piece lock sets that can be easily attached to your meter box in case it currently does not have a hole for a padlock. You can read more about installing a Hasp Lock here.
For the protection of your family, belongings and property it is important to install good quality, long lasting locks. This is as important for your home, shed and garage as it is for your meter box. However, the need for essential services to be able to access the electricity meter at all times (in the case of emergencies such as fire or electric shock) means securing a meter box requires special consideration.
WA emergency services rely on you the homeowner to help them achieve access to your meter box. This includes making it easy to approach the meter box and not leaving aggressive dogs nearby. The most helpful way to allow technicians to go about their work is to install a WAS locking mechanism should you decide to secure your meter box.
Contact us for more information on WAS locks and how to improve the safety of your home.