Buying safe electrical appliances
Approved electrical appliances
All prescribed electrical appliances and equipment must be approved prior to being made available for supply. Approved electrical appliances display a regulatory compliance mark (RCM) or a unique safety approval number.
Approval markings can vary between states. Typically they are an alphanumeric code, comprising the first letter of the state that issued the approval followed by between one and six digits. Two examples are shown below.
To find out if an appliance is approved for use, ask the store manager / sales person or search the Australian Certification Database for approved electrical appliances.
It is illegal to sell unapproved electrical products
Outlets or retailers selling them may be fined $5,000 for individuals and $24,000 for companies.
Members of the public can report the sale of unapproved electrical products.
Buying electrical equipment online
Be careful when buying electrical equipment online as some of the products for sale on the internet do not meet Australian safety standards.
Non-compliant USB chargers, travel adaptors and power supplies
All USB chargers, travel adaptors and power supplies must be approved by a recognised certification body and display the RCM or an approval number on the product.
- Examples of compliant and non-compliant USB chargers, travel adaptors and power supplies
Buying second-hand electrical equipment
If you have purchased or plan to purchase second-hand electrical equipment, ensure the appliance has been approved as safe for use in Australia, that it is not damaged and have it ‘tagged and tested’ by a qualified repairman or a licensed electrician.
Beware of purchasing second-hand electrical items on social media. A so-called bargain could be an expensive and dangerous mistake.
Damaged or ageing electrical equipment
Never use electrical equipment that is damaged or ageing. Throw away old extension cords, powerboards or any electrical product with a frayed cord.
Take the time to check the cords at your home and throw away any with exposed wires or damage.
If you have any queries in relation to buying safe electrical appliances and equipment, contact our Electrical Equipment Safety team on 03 9203 9700 (Option 5) or at firstname.lastname@example.org