Mobile phone chargers are a huge business, with approximately 1.8 million being bought online in the UK every year. But fake phone chargers are swamping the market and they are potentially very dangerous indeed.
Over the last four ears the UK has seen a six-fold increase in the number of counterfeit electrical goods seized, with the value of counterfeit goods seized by councils and the Border Control rising from just over £2.6 million in 2009 to more than £15.7 million in 2012. The most-seized items were fake phone chargers.
Unsafe charging devices are often made in China for as little as 3p per unit, which means poor quality components. Sometimes these products don’t even have safety features such as fuses.
A genuine Apple charger contains more than 60 individual components, while a counterfeit contains an average of just 25.
Electrical Safety First, the UK’s electrical safety experts, tested a range of fake iPhone chargers and found that a staggering 98% had the potential to cause a fire or give an electric shock.
Protect yourself against purchasing a fake phone charger
• Look for a manufacturer’s brand name or logo, model and batch number.
• Check for a CE mark
• Check that the output voltage and current ratings marked on the charger and your electrical device are the same.
• Do not rely on a CE mark alone as a guarantee of safety – it’s simply a declaration by the manufacturer that the product meets all the safety requirements of European law, but they can be easily forged.
*Source: Electrical Safety First