Electronic Devices

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Electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptop computers found in most homes, have become everyday items in our lives. However, they still come with risks and must be treated with care and respect. They may pose a fire risk if they are in poor condition, used incorrectly or not manufactured to comply with Australian Standards and laws.

South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) provides the following fire and life safety tips to minimise the risk of injury or fire.

  • Ensure all new electronic items are compliant with the relevant Australian Standards. Most electrical / electronic items are ‘proclaimed’ under the Energy Products Act 2000 in South Australia and require mandatory Australian safety approval (i.e. certification) and approval mark prior to sale.
    The Regulatory Compliance Mark (see Figure 1 below) is a recognised Australian safety approval
    mark.

               Regulatory Compliance Mark    

Regulatory Compliance Mark
  • To check if a proclaimed electrical item that bears the Regulatory Compliance Mark is certified, a search on the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC) National Certification Database can be done via the following web link: https://equipment.erac.gov.au/Public/.
    Check that all the specifications listed within the database align with the product markings
  • Always purchase electrical items from trusted Australian suppliers e.g. well known and established retailers.
    Purchasing electrical items online or from overseas is not recommended, and increases the risk of receiving non-compliant or unsafe products.
  • Non-genuine ‘after-market’ products can look like genuine accessories but may be poorly designed  and made, e.g. mobile phone chargers, and can pose a fire risk to the users. They may overheat or they may cause your device to overheat. Always look for the original manufacturer’s logo or the logo of a reputable accessory maker, and ensure the RCM symbol is present.
  • Non-genuine ‘counterfeit’ accessories are made to look like original components and are often very cheap to buy. They are often not made to the same standard as the original manufacturers’ accessories. They may pose a risk of fire and should be avoided.
  • If using international adapters to plug devices in for charging ensure they are approved for use in Australia by looking for the RCM symbol or the Australian Standard five ticks symbol.
  • Normal use and charging of your portable devices may generate heat. Avoid using or charging your mobile phones, tablets, laptops or similar devices in or on your bed. The soft fabrics may prevent the heat build-up from dissipating. This can lead to a fire starting.
  • Always provide adequate ventilation around all electrical devices, including when charging them, to avoid heat build-up.
  • Do not cover charging cables, transformers and plugs when they are in use.
  • Always charge these devices on stable, non-combustible surfaces.
  • If purchasing second hand electrical or electronic devices consider having them tested by an electrician to ensure they are operating safely.
  • We recommend that a check is made prior to purchase, on the product recalls website to determine if the device has been the subject of a product recall. https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recalls.

 

Download a PDF English version of this Home Fire Safety Fact Sheet  (PDF 482KB)

 

Combine the above safety tips with the installation of well-maintained, photo-electric smoke alarms in your home that are less than 10 years old. Consider having all your smoke alarms interconnected.

 

For more information call the Community Safety & Resilience Department 8204 3611

Country callers 1300 737 637

email SAMFScommunitysafety@sa.gov.au

or call in to 99 Wakefield Street, Adelaide during business hours.