With the increase in people buying equipment and cabling online, there is a greater potential for unsafe products to be brought into the country – starting fires and potentially leading to fatalities.
The concern about the future direction of the economy in Australia is leading to more conservative budgets, and as those budgets tighten, people are often looking online to find a solution that is cheaper than those available locally. But this comes at the expense of ending up with potentially deadly cabling.
"People aren't always aware of the dangers of buying power cabling from overseas," says Jeremy Martens, Director at power distribution specialist, RackLink.
"Many electrical products purchased from overseas vendors do not comply with current standards, and simply 'tagging and testing' a potentially offending product does not guarantee a safe and secure solution, especially in the long term."
Recently the ACCC has forced a recall of electrical cabling that was sold through many hardware chains and wholesalers.
"Testing has found that the cables will degrade prematurely and if the cables are disturbed, the insulation could break and expose live conductors, resulting in possible electric shock or fires," ACCC chairman Rod Sims asserted.
Australia is often regarded as a highly regulated country, especially in the electrical industry, and for good reason. A faulty USB phone charger caused the death of a Gosford woman, Sheryl Aldegeur earlier this year, and Officeworks has recently recalled another USB phone charger due to concerns about it overheating during use.
Overheating inside a product will lead to melted plastic, which can allow electrical contacts to spark together quickly developing into a fire.
Australian standards are designed to ensure that any cables which have been approved will be safe for use in the long term.