Saving a quick buck not worth the risk with Christmas lights
WITH Christmas almost upon us, Gympie people have been urged to play it safe with the Christmas lights and decorations they buy.
Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Curtis Pitt said festive shoppers should only buy Christmas lights that meet Australian Standards, even if they are a bit more expensive.
"At any time of year buying cheaper fairy lights online, second hand or from sellers that don't offer a guarantee could seem like a bargain, but is not worth the risk since you just can't be sure what you're getting."
"And make sure you buy the right lights for the right purpose, like very low current solar and LED lights in outdoor areas with appropriate weather proofing."
Mr Pitt said Queensland laws made it illegal to sell decorative lights that did not meet Australian standards or do not have a certificate of conformity.
"It might be cheaper, but it is difficult to buy electrical items with confidence over the internet because other countries do not always have the same electrical systems or standards we have in Australia," Mr Pitt said.
"Lights need to have the proper compliance marking or labelling. Simply look for the regulatory compliance mark or for older models an approval mark. These marks indicate compliance with Australian Standards.
"These identifiers are usually found on a plastic tag near the plug or on the transformer if it is an extra low voltage type, or on the packaging."
Mr Pitt said Electrical Safety Office inspectors would be conducting random audits of lighting retailers again this year to ensure lights being sold have been approved and are safe.
Gympie woman, Karen Grills agrees whole-heartedly that quality Christmas lights are worth the additional investment.
"I've been doing this for 12 years (decorating her home with Christmas lights) and I don't bother with the cheap lights anymore. They just don't work," Ms Grills said.
Karen said she buys all her lights from a major chain because she knows they'll be safe.
In recent storms, she said one of her adaptors filled with water and she was concerned it was ruined, but after getting it checked out and dried out, she said everything was fine.
"I don't use the cheap ones. The adaptors get hot and they just don't last. I won't even recommend solar, because they just don't last," she said.
Karen's display is at 20 Leonard St, Southside and she says she currently has between 50 and 60 different electrical adornments in her display and it doesn't cost as much as people think to run.
"It doesn't cost a lot of money to run, about $20 extra from the start to end of December," she said.
Our Christmas Lights map can tell you where all the other entrants from our Christmas Light's competition are situated around town.