Over­seas adap­tors a harm risk

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Gwyn­neth Hay­wood Gwyn­neth Hay­wood is the se­nior re­gional of­fi­cer for Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion.

There have been two lo­cal cases re­cently where con­sumers re­ported re­ceiv­ing elec­tric shocks from power adap­tors that came with ap­pli­ances they’d pur­chased from web­sites.

Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion is now work­ing with En­er­gySafety to warn the WA com­mu­nity about un­safe adap­tors (over­seas plug con­vert­ers) that may come with elec­tri­cal prod­ucts bought via the in­ter­net.

One that caused re­cent elec­tric shocks is a travel adap­tor with mul­ti­ple pin op­tions.

When the Aus­tralian pins are plugged into a power board, two ex­posed pins de­signed for the United King­dom are able to be touched — those pins are live at 240 Volts; enough volt­age to cause se­ri­ous in­jury or death.

The risk ex­ists when the pins are in the un­locked po­si­tion and fully pro­trud­ing, but also when the user has re­mem­bered to lock them be­cause even in the re­cessed po­si­tion the ends of the pins can still be touched.

If you re­ceive, or al­ready have, an adap­tor sup­plied with elec­tri­cal goods pur­chased on­line or bought while over­seas, be sus­pi­cious about its elec­tri­cal safety. Have it checked by an elec­tri­cian be­fore use.

Bet­ter still, buy an adapter from a rep­utable lo­cal re­tailer be­cause adap­tors sold here must be ap­proved for use in Aus­tralia.

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

If you are go­ing over­seas you can buy safe travel adap­tors in Aus­tralia.

You can see our adap­tor warn­ing videos on the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Face­book or YouTube page.

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