Dangerous Christmas lights result in $25.5K fine

A Christmas decoration store in Hamilton, has been fined $25,500 for selling dangerous Christmas lights. The store has previously been prosecuted by Energy Safety for similar offending operating out of its Auckland Botany Town Centre store in 2009.

Energy Safety Compliance Officer Richard Lamb said it was very disappointing that action has had to be taken against the store for a second time. ‘The lights were of very poor construction, lacked basic protection from contact with live parts, and were flimsy enough to easily pull apart. They present a significant fire and electric shock risk.

‘The electrical safety rules are designed to enable suppliers to meet their obligation to source and supply electrically safe products. We hope that this case acts as a message to others that the consequences of ignoring the rules and endangering people can be very costly.’

Richard Lamb urged people to take care when buying decorative lights that run on mains power – particularly products purchased online.

‘Online sales of decorative lights from local and offshore retailers are increasing. People should check that these products meet acceptable safety standards before they buy. If you’re in doubt about the safety of lights you’ve already purchased, don’t use them.’

Published in consumer and occupational safety.