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Ergon Energy warns of festive death traps

Published: 13 Nov 2018 10:20am

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 called to a regional Queensland home when the newly-acquired 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 in a faulty condition, which could have created a more serious safety risk if it had gone undetected.

“At this time of year there will be plenty of people looking online for powered Christmas decorations, but please remember the serious safety risks that low-quality lights can pose far outweigh any savings.

“Ergon and Energex crews go to more than 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, with the potential to take 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,” he said.

Mr Rose said home owners should check all lights, new and old, before installing them.

“For most of the year Christmas lights and powered decorations are stored in cupboards and sheds where they can easily be damaged or chewed on by pests.

“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,” Mr Rose said.

Media Contact: Emma Oliveri
Phone: 0457 566 079