Ergon warns of festive death traps
HOUSE fires, electric shocks or worse could have easily occurred as a result of one of the most dangerous online-purchased Christmas lights seen in Queensland recently.
Ergon Energy issued the alert after electrical crews were recently called to a regional Queensland home when newly purchased Christmas lights with exposed and potentially deadly 240 volt wires shocked the owner.
According to Chris Rose from Ergon's safety team, the lights were bought online and arrived at the purchaser's door in a faulty state and could have easily created a more serious safety risk if gone undetected.
"This time of year there will be plenty of people looking online for powered Christmas decorations, but please remember the serious safety risks faulty or low-quality lights can pose far outweigh the savings," Mr Rose said.
"Ergon and Energex crews go to more 2,200 electrical shock callouts a year and these Christmas lights had one of the most dangerous faults they'd ever seen.
"If these dodgy Christmas lights had gone unnoticed the outcome could have been completely different by potentially taking someone's life through electrocution or by starting a house fire.
"This is why we always urge people, for their safety and that of their loved ones, to only purchase electrical Christmas decorations from reputable retailers and ensure they comply with Australian Safety Standards."
Mr Rose also said it wasn't just new Christmas lights that can cause safety risks for homeowners and all existing lights should be checked before installing them.
"For most of the year Christmas lights and powered decorations are stored unnoticed in cupboards and sheds where they can easily be damaged or chewed on by pests," he said.
"So before any lights or decorations are plugged in they should always be checked for faults such as exposed wires and broken bulbs.
"By taking the time to check for faults and by only buying appliances that comply with Australian safety standards we can give everyone the opportunity to have a safe Christmas."