Firefighters have issued an urgent safety warning ahead of the festive season over gifts bought online from overseas.
An Adelaide family-of-six narrowly escaped tragedy when a tiny adaptor which powered a strip of LED lights burst into flames.
Ellen Noble, her partner and their four children were out helping a friend move house when they received the phone call that changed their lives.
A massive blaze had engulfed their Ingle Farm home, sparked by the Christmas display.
The lights weren’t turned on but the adaptor overheated and dropped onto a pile of soft toys.
Within minutes, the house was alight.
The LED display was bought from an international site and didn’t meet Australian standards – something the Metropolitan Fire Service said was all-too common with decorations purchased online.
The Noble family’s home suffered $100,000 damage in the blaze, with dozens of sentimental items destroyed.
While the family is insured, it will be months before their home is repaired.
Noble said she never expected such a tiny purchase could cause so much devastation.
“It may not have happened if we bought [the lights] in store,” she said.
“Just be cautious.”
Munno Para West grandmother Vicki Willis had a similar experience last year when her Christmas lights began to smoulder, as seen in the video below.
“I could smell something smoking,” she told 7NEWS.
“That’s when I found that they were burning.”
The Christmas lights she had purchased online had overheated and were melting against her side gate.
The advice from firefighters is to make sure electrical items bought from overseas meet local guidelines, by checking for a tag bearing a small tick or the Australian standards symbol.
“We’re urging people, if they’re going to but overseas online products, to make sure they have the Australian regulatory compliance mark,” MFS firefighter Angelo Mastripolito said.
“If you can’t verity that it has that mark then our advice is not to purchase it.
“It’s not worth the risk.”