Shop for safety this Christmas

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing The Honourable Grace Grace

As Queenslanders start gift buying gifts and putting up Christmas lights, the Palaszczuk Government is urging caution around using old lights and buying electrical gifts online.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said that all electrical products should meet Australian Standards and come from reputable suppliers.

“It’s hard to believe it’s already December and Christmas is just around the corner,” Ms Grace said.

“When it comes to lights and electricals there are a few simple things you can do make sure your Christmas period is safe, and memorable for all the right reasons.

“Check that household electrical goods have a regulatory compliance mark (RCM) – this means it meets Australian Standards.

“When it comes to lights, make sure you’re getting the right ones suited to how you’re using them.

“Weatherproof solar powered LED lights are best for outside, but if you have extra low voltage lights (usually between 5 to 50V) supplied from a transformer, make sure you keep the transformer and 240V plug indoors or protected from the weather.

“Whatever type you use always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for where to install and how to use them.

“Second hand or damaged goods can cause serious injuries, fires and sadly can even result in fatalities – so make sure you check any old appliances or lights before you plug them in.

“There are obvious things to look for, like broken casings, cracked or discoloured plastic covers, frayed cords, and damaged plugs and extension leads, but there can also be internal damage or faults, so make sure you test your home’s safety switches and smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.”

Ms Grace said homeowners might be tempted to have a go at installing extra power points to plug all the lights into but warned that DIY electrical work in Queensland was illegal and can be deadly.

“Never attempt to do your own electrical work – there’s a good chance you will injure yourself or your family or start a fire. Not only is it breaking the law, but you could also jeopardise your insurance. This one really is quite simple – always use a licensed electrician.”

The Electrical Safety Office had a searchable database for licensed electricians and contractors.

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