Power boards, cords and chargers

It's illegal for power boards, USB chargers, power supplies and travel adaptors to be sold or hired if they don’t meet the electrical safety requirements for South Australia.

Power boards

When you’re using a power board, make sure:

  • plugs fit firmly into the sockets
  • the board and cord are undamaged
  • there's ventilation around the board
  • children and pets can't reach it
  • the board has overload protection
  • there's a safety switch on your property's electrical circuit.

To keep safe, don’t:

  • overload the board with too many appliances
  • plug double or triple adaptors into the board
  • plug one board into another
  • use it around water
  • use it in dusty or polluted environments
  • connect to appliances that draw a lot of power
  • use it as a substitute for permanent power outlets.

Extension cords

Before you use an extension cord, make sure the cord:

  • has a three-pin plug – never use a twin flex (two wire) extension cord
  • is fully unwound, so it doesn’t overheat
  • is undamaged
  • is kept away from water
  • can’t be walked or driven over – try fixing the cord 2.5 m above ground in heavy traffic areas.

To keep safe, don’t:

  • join extension cords together
  • overload the cord – keep the load less than 2,400 watts
  • put metal ladders or other metal objects on the cord.

USB chargers and travel adaptors

Chargers and adaptors are often purchased online or from cheaper stores you might not be able to trust. They might also be made overseas and not meet the Australian safety standards.

Make sure:

  • the product has been checked and is safe to use in South Australia
  • the pins are insulated – check there is sheathing part-way up the pins
  • cords are undamaged.

To keep safe, don’t:

  • use products that have plugs with holes the pins. Approved products have solid pins without holes
  • use the device while it’s plugged in and charging.

Read buying safe appliances to find out more about products that have been checked and are safe to use in South Australia.

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Page last updated 19 July 2023

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Department for Energy and Mining
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