Public alert on dangers of unsafe power adaptors


Unsafe adaptor. Photo: Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

EnergySafety and Consumer Protection from the Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety have recently issued a joint public alert on the dangers of using power adaptors that don’t meet Australian safety standards.

Concerns were raised after users reported receiving electric shock when using an unsafe international adaptor. The unsafe adaptor has two exposed pins designed for the United Kingdom which remain live at 240 Volts unless the user knows to, or remembers, to lock them into the recessed position.

Approved adaptors being sold in Australia should be marked with an Australian approval number and bear the Regulatory Compliance Mark, indicating they comply with Australian Standard AS/NZS 3122.

“I encourage everyone to watch out when buying electrical goods online or while overseas as unapproved devices do not meet the essential safety requirements of Australian standards,” said Director of Energy Safety Ken Bowron.

“Most likely they will not be fitted with suitable plugs for Australia. The sellers may sometimes include a travel adaptor to overcome this problem. Buyers should be wary of these adaptors. They can be deadly!

“People receiving adaptors supplied with electrical goods purchased overseas or online should be suspicious about their electrical safety. They should have them checked by an electrician before use. Better still, they should buy an Australian based adapter or ask an electrician to replace the foreign plug with an Australian one.”

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard shares the concern about the adaptors being used by WA consumers.

“Consumers should be wary about any electrical appliance or device which is purchased overseas, online or from an unknown supplier as it may not comply with Australian safety standards,” said Mr. Hillyard.

“Anyone in possession of unapproved adaptors should destroy and dispose of them immediately.

“There have been many incidents in the past where people have been injured by chargers and adapters which did not comply with Australian standard. I urge consumers to be aware of this issue and be vigilant as to the electrical products they use at home and at work to ensure they are safe.

“People can buy safe travel adaptors in Australia to suit the electricity systems of most countries before departing overseas.”

The maximum penalty for selling unapproved electrical equipment in WA is $50,000 for an individual or $250,000 for a corporation.

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