Buying safe electrical appliances


All prescribed electrical appliances and equipment must be approved prior to being made available for supply. Approved electrical appliances display a regulatory compliance mark (RCM) or a unique safety approval number. What to look for when buying an electrical appliance:

• Approval markings can vary between states. Typically they are an alphanumeric code, comprising the first letter of the state that issued the approval followed by between one and six digits. Two examples are shown below.

• If you have purchased or plan to purchase second-hand electrical equipment, ensure the appliance has been approved as safe for use in Australia, that it is not damaged and have it ‘tagged and tested’ by a qualified repairman or a licensed electrician.

• Beware of purchasing second-hand electrical items on social media. A so-called bargain could be an expensive and dangerous mistake.

• Never use electrical equipment that is damaged or ageing. Throw away old extension cords, powerboards or any electrical product with a frayed cord.

• Take the time to check the cords at your home and throw away any with exposed wires or damage.

These are just a few suggestions to ensure you minimise the chances of a faulty electrical appliance becoming a hazard.

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