In a word, carefully. Exposed electrical wires are dangerous and need to be treated with care. The risk of an electric shock is high and your best approach is to call a local Sydney electrician and have the problem resolved properly.
However, if you need to wait for the electrician there are several things you can do to maintain your safety while waiting. You don’t want to be one of the 20 deaths per year as a result of electric shocks.
Shut The Circuit Off
If you have a properly labeled circuit breaker you should be able to turn the power supply off where the wires are exposed. Simply go to the correct circuit breaker and push the switch. However, you need to verify that it is the right circuit. Carefully touch the wire with a multiple meter to ensure it has no current going through it.
If you don’t know which circuit breaker is the right one you’ll need to go through the breakers one at a time, checking the exposed wire each time Alternatively, you can shut off all the power to the house.
Depending on what you’ve shut off you may be able to leave it like this until the electrician arrives.
Covering The Cable
With the power turned off you can cover the exposed wire. The only thing you should use for this is electrical tape because you know it won’t transmit the electricity.
Simply wrap the tape around the exposed wire several times until it is completely covered. It should then be safe to turn the electric back on.
It should be noted that this is a temporary repair, an electrician will replace the wire and check your system to ensure there are no other similar problems.
Whether your wire has been damaged by rodents or old age, if one is damaged there is a possibility other cables will be. That’s why a qualified electrician needs to check your home and eliminate any issues.
Replacing The Cable
If you have some basic DIY skills you may be able to replace the wire yourself. Note: this should only be attempted if you have some knowledge of what you are doing. You also need to make sure someone knows what you are doing in case you have an issue.
To replace the damaged section of cable you’ll need to find the cable and cut it out after the power is off. You can then strip a piece of wire and place it where the old wire went. Be sure to use proper electrical connectors to join the pieces together and, if necessary, wrap the connectors in electrical tape.
You can then turn the power back on and check the circuit. But, it is still recommended you have a professional inspection. One damaged wire can be the sign of more, it’s better to know about this as early as possible and start planning the repair.
Remember: electricity is dangerous, treat it with respect.