ACTPLA is reminding the community to take care when installing and using outdoor lights and other decorative lighting.
ACTPLA warns against buying cheap decorative lighting products which have not been approved for use in Australia by product safety regulatory authorities. Please also avoid buying second hand lights at markets and bargain stores or on-line that are not approved in Australia.
Unapproved lights have the potential to start fires and cause electric shocks.
Always follow manufactures instructions regarding assembly, installation and globe replacement.
All power boards, transformers and lighting must be protected from weather by installing the transformer and power connection indoors unless specified by the manufacturer. Lights designed for outdoor use and particularly 240 volt decorative lighting should be installed according to manufacturers installation instructions regarding locating the transformer and whether lighting strings, ropes or individual lamp holders for globes are resistant to the ingress of moisture.
Weather proof boxes can now be purchased for the protection of transformers and power boards. These need to be of a Degree of Protection (IP) rating preferably higher or equal to IP65. IP marks are displayed on electrical enclosures. Check all installation and maintenance information supplied by the manufacturer. Keep your purchase receipts if a warranty claim is deemed necessary.
- Check decorative lighting installations for damage with the power disconnected after any storm.
- Ensure exposed lights are kept away from flammable material .
- Never use damaged equipment or lights.
- Do not overload power boards, power points, extension cords or double adapters.
- Never expose power boards or double adaptors to the weather.
- Never cascade power boards by plugging in power board to another power board.
- Never run connecting leads through door ways or windows where they are likely to be damaged or cut.
- If you require extra power points always contact a licensed electrician to have them installed.
- If using the same lights year after year, make sure they are in good condition and there is no exposed (uninsulated) wiring before installing and do not cover or modify lights. Also make sure they are packed away carefully after use. Turn off lights if they are to be unattended.
Indicators of substandard decorative lights include:
- Decorative Lighting product displaying operating voltages less than 230 volts.
- Plugs incompatible with Australian power points.
- Dangerously thin electrical insulation on flexible leads.
- Incorrectly rated globes that may overheat and cause surrounding material to catch fire.
- Wiring that pulls out of lamp holders.