Firefighters and Trading Standards Officers in West Sussex urge people not to take risks by buying counterfeit electrical products.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and West Sussex County Council Trading Standards Service teamed up last week during Electrical Fire Safety Week (November 10th to 15th) to raise awareness of the dangers of fake and substandard electrical products.
With Christmas approaching bargain hunters may be tempted by cheap fakes but are often unaware of the serious fire risks associated with counterfeit or unbranded electrical products.
Counterfeit electrical goods often contain incorrect or faulty parts that can overheat or malfunction increasing the risk of a fire, serious shock or even electrocution. Hair styling products, electronic games and chargers for mobile phones, laptops and e-cigarettes are just some of the fake goods which people are being warned to steer clear of.
Community Fire Safety Officer for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Jackie Boyle, said: “Unfortunately, the last few years have seen an increase in the number of counterfeit electrical products on the market. Nationally, we’ve seen an increase in the number of fires from faulty electrical products like mobile phone and e-cigarettes chargers.
“The popularity of online shopping makes it easier for substandard electrical goods to slip through the net. Items purchased directly from non-EU manufacturers often bypass the normal safety checks. Whilst we all like a bargain taking a chance on these goods isn’t worth the risk. It could result in a house fire, injury or even the death of a loved one.”
. Buy products from a reputable high street or online retailer that you know and trust
. Check the product for the relevant safety certification marks
. Avoid products without a brand label or where the manufacturer’s contact information isn’t clearly displayed on the packaging
. Avoid buying second hand electrical products; you don’t know what condition they are in
. Trust your instincts; if a bargain seems too good to be true, it probably is!
. Check the packaging. Does it have the correct logo, high quality printing and correctly spelled text?
. Be careful with online transactions – you can download Electrical Safety First’s guide to safe online shopping here.
. If you have suspicions about a product’s safety or think it’s a fake, don’t use it. Contact your Trading Standards on 03454 040506 or use the online reporting form atwww.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport
For more electrical fire safety advice visit: www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire