A safe shopping guide for electrical appliances

Issue 35 – February 2012

Cyber shopping offers convenience, but comes with risks. Here are five questions to find out if an appliance may be unsafe:

  • Is the appliance fitted with a New Zealand plug? The plug should be moulded onto the supply cord.If it is not fitted with a New Zealand plug, or if it is supplied with an adaptor, do not buy it.
  • Is the voltage correct? New Zealand domestic voltage is 230 volts and 50 Hertz (230v 50Hz). The appliance must be marked with this voltage as part of the manufacturer's labelling.
  • Does the appliance come with user instructions in English? If not, do not buy it. Ask for a copy before you purchase.
  • Does the seller provide a 'Supplier Declaration of Conformity' that shows the appliance complies with an AS/NZS Standard? If the seller cannot supply a written declaration, do not buy it.
  • Where is the seller located? Not all '.nz' websites are in New Zealand. If the supplier is not located in New Zealand, you are not protected by New Zealand law.

Avoid buying used or second-hand appliances online. There is no reliable way of determining the safety of second-hand appliances purchases through the internet.

Finally, remember to keep all records of your purchase.

Summarised from the Ministry of Economic Development's Energy Safety Business Update, February 2012.

Published in consumer and occupational safety.