Auckland stores sold unsafe adaptors

Last updated 16:52 07/08/2014
unsafe plug adaptor
UNSAFE: The adaptors did not have adequate protection to prevent contact with live parts and presented a risk of fire and electrocution.

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A chain of Auckland convenience stores has been burned with an $80,000 fine for selling electrically unsafe travel plug adaptors despite repeated warnings.

However, it was not known exactly how many of the unsafe travel plug adaptors had been sold through the chain of 15 Auckland central stores, WorkSafe NZ said.

Dtown and Zolo Limited, which traded as City Star Convenience Stores and Britomart Magazine, were convicted and fined under the Electricity Act 1992 and the Electricity Safety Regulations 2010 at Auckland District Court this week. 

WorkSafe NZ energy safety compliance officer Richard Lamb said the adaptors did not have adequate protection to prevent contact with live parts and presented a real risk of fire and electrocution.

The adaptors were of particular concern given plugs were used at low points in the home and were easily-accessible to infants and young children

"These adaptors are simply not safe to use."

Lamb said WorkSafe NZ repeatedly warned the company to pull the faulty plugs from its shelves, but the stores continued to sell them.   

"Given the location of these stores in the heart of Auckland near hotels, hostels and transport hubs it is likely these adaptors would have been purchased by visitors, and could have spread around New Zealand and beyond."

The problem was widespread, with the energy safety branch of WorkSafe NZ becoming concerned at the number of unsafe electrical travel plug adaptors being sold, he said.

Businesses selling electrical goods must abide by the law and the regulations, and only stock safe goods, Lamb said.

Retailers should understand they would face the full consequences if anyone was hurt because of faulty goods they had supplied, he said.

"This fine serves as a stark reminder that the consequences of ignoring the rules can be very costly."

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