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.

Newsletter, Using electricity safely

The safe and efficient use of electricity in the home is important for your family’s welfare and may assist you to reduce electricity usage and your costs. Keep your family safe by ensuring all electrical appliances and equipment in and around your home are safe to use and in good working order.

Safe use of electrical appliances and equipment.

Follow these simple tips for keeping electrical appliances and equipment in good working order and making your home safe:

• Never use an ageing or faulty electrical appliance – including an appliance with a frayed cord, cracked or broken plug, or any appliance that has given someone any kind of shock. Frayed or damaged cords should be replaced immediately or the appliance disposed of. Many old plugs do not have safety barriers between the connections – replace them with modern plugs or dispose of the appliance.

• All appliances must have a regulatory compliance mark (RCM) and the plugs must have insulated pins, as per the images below

• Do not attempt to repair faulty electrical appliances yourself – only qualified repair technician or a licensed electrician can repair appliances

• Do not touch or attempt to repair a loose, cracked or broken power point switch – cover it immediately and arrange for a licensed electrician to replace it

• Avoid ‘piggybacking’ adaptors, instead use a power board with a built-in safety device

• Service appliances in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions

• Clean the lint filter in your clothes dryer after each use

• Check electric blankets at the start of each winter for damaged wires, plugs, leads and hot spots – dispose of any electric blanket that is damaged

• Remove any build-up of materials around the electric motor of exhaust fans, such as fluff, dust, lint etc.

• Clean rangehood filters regularly

• Clean ovens and cooktops regularly to prevent the build-up of spilled fats and burnt foods

• Do not spray household cleaners, detergents and insecticides on electrical accessories – they may cause cracking and create an electrical hazard