Electrical Safety

Buying fake electrical products is particularly risky as they often contain faulty parts that can overheat and catch fire or deliver a fatal electric shock.  

While many items appear sophisticated on the outside, they lack essential safety components inside. If a bargain seems too good to be true, it probably is! 

How to spot fake electrical products online: 

  • If the price is (almost) right, it’s probably fake 
  • Some fakes are for sale just below the recommended retail value, hoodwinking shoppers that are too savvy to fall for the ‘too good to be true’ deals. Make sure you do your homework if you decide to buy products below high street retail prices. 
  • Don’t just take the seller’s word for it – or the reviewer's! 
  • Beware of a product with solely glowing reviews, especially if the reviewers aren’t verified. Some sites cross-reference user reviews with their buyer database and label those people as "verified purchasers". 
  • Know where you’re buying from 
  • Make sure you know where the supplier is based, a ‘co.uk’ URL doesn’t guarantee the website is UK based. If there is no address supplied, or there is just a PO Box, be wary; many fake electrical goods are manufactured overseas, where they will not be safety tested and are produced as quickly and cheaply as possible. 
  • Beware of words qualifying an item’s authenticity  
  • If the seller claims the product is ‘genuine’, ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ double check the source. Most reputable retailers don’t need to sell their products like this. 
  • Spot the lock to pay safely 
  • Look for websites that allow you to pay safely – these have a padlock symbol at the bottom of the screen when you are filling in your payment details. If you can’t see it, do not enter your payment details. 
  • Look for the Label 
  • Look for the UK kite mark or the European CE label 

Many of us now use a smart phone, many fires in the home start from faulty or fake electrical products.  Can you spot a fake phone charger? 

  • Look for missing markings (like the CE or the UK Kite mark) or spelling errors. 
  • The plug pin finish on a genuine charger is high quality, matte and uniform. 
  • The USB port on a counterfeit charger might be upside down, or in a different place. 
  • A genuine plug will sound and feel solid, while counterfeit products will make a ‘plastic’ noise and feel hollow. 
  • Counterfeit chargers contain few, if any, of the higher quality components required for safety, and are therefore lighter. 
  • The plug pins on a fake charger may be larger or smaller than a genuine one and may be positioned in a different place. 

During the cold winter months many of us will use a portable heater

Whatever type of heater you use, do not: 

  • move a heater while it is a light or switched on. 
  • stand or sit too close, your clothing may ignite. 
  • place a heater too close to furniture, bedding or curtains. 
  • air or dry clothes over a heater. 
  • place heaters where they are likely to be knocked over. 
  • leave a portable heater on if young children or animals are left unattended. 
  • use flammable adhesives, cleaning fluids or aerosol sprays near a heater. 

Keep your family safe when using electrical products with these top tips. 

  • Don’t charge electrical devices on your bed, under a pillow or anywhere the device might overheat. Charge your devices on a stable surface. 
  • Don’t leave any devices to charge unattended, especially overnight. 
  • Don’t let leads from your electrical items trail across the floor. 
  • Ensure your children keep their rooms tidy and dust free. Obstructions such as clothes or game consoles, for instance, can cause vents to get blocked. This will cause the device to overheat and catch on fire. 
  • Get into the routine of switching off electronic games, computers, TVs and other electric appliances before you go to bed. 
  • Don’t use or let children use fake or unbranded chargers. Check your chargers meet UK safety regulations  
  • Keep liquids away from your electrics. 
  • After bathing or showering, children should fully dry themselves off before using any electrical device. Water and electricity are a fatal combination. 
  • Make sure your children know how to use electricity and electric appliances responsibly and safely.