With Christmas lights and glowing decorations already up in houses across the country, this is the time of year that we bring out those rarely-used extra power boards and overload them with double adaptors on top of other adaptors. The ACCC wants you to check those boards for defects, though, with over 200,000 unsafe power boards and double adaptors sold across Australia within the last few months.
Christmas lights image via Shutterstock
Within the last five months, the ACCC has recalled 8 power boards and 5 double adaptors from sale in stores like Masters, Woolworths and Big W. The surge of recalls started in August, when the ACCC received a voluntary recall notice and then started a more in-depth investigation with the help of state regulators.
All the products in the 13-strong recall list come from two manufacturers in China. Although the powerboards and double adaptors passed Australian safety standards regulations (the A tick and C tick marks you’ll find on any legitimate mains-connected device sold locally), later batches were altered at the manufacturing stage.
ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard is pushing for retailers and wholesale suppliers to be more stringent with the tests they themselves run on the electrical products they sell. “These products were recalled because there is a risk of overheating and fire. The electrical contacts of the sockets are poorly aligned and the plastic enclosure does not meet the flammability requirements of the applicable electrical standard. The absence of a testing program resulted in one supplier being required to take recall action on all power boards they had supplied since 2002.”
With Christmas and the New Year’s break just around the corner, please check your power boards, double adapters, connected electrical devices around the house and It should only take a few minutes to do a quick walk-around check, making sure everything is plugged in correctly and plugs fit properly. Don’t forget to take a close look at the safety of your house’s USB chargers, too — we all want to avoid the tragedy of losing a house, or loved ones, to an accidental fire caused by faulty electronics. [ACCC]