Dangerous mobile phone chargers
Published on 7th December 2012
Sandwell Trading Standards are warning consumers about dangerous fake mobile phone chargers that could cause fires or electric shocks.
In one incident, a consumer purchased an 'Apple' charger for his ipod. As soon as he switched on the main socket to charge it, smoke started coming out of it and then it exploded.
This caused the plug to burn out and destroyed his ipod. The consumer also received a mild electric shock.
The consumer reported the matter to Sandwell Trading Standards who investigated.
The Apple charger was found to be counterfeit and also failed to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations. The chargers were being sold at a fraction of the price of a genuine product.
Trading Standards subsequently visited the offending business in West Bromwich and seized a small quantity of the counterfeit chargers.
Trading standards have now made a formal request for the invoices in a bid to trace the supplier.
The items are described as Apple Emerson Network Power Charger Model no. A1299 and the product is marked as being ''Designed by Apple in California''.
Cabinet member for neighbourhood services Councillor Ian Jones said ''People may be tempted to buy cheap chargers, particularly on the run into Christmas, but I would urge people not to risk their lives for the sake of a few pounds."
Bob Charnley, trading standards manager, added: ''If people have bought them they should stop using them immediately.
"Any retailers who have them in stock should ensure they are removed from sale and consumer returns refunded.
"There are many chargers on the market which also fail to comply with the safety regulations. Trading standards are trying to identify those which are available in Sandwell and are working with responsible traders to remove them from sale.
"I would advise people to only buy electrical chargers from reputable retailers and always obtain a receipt so if there is a problem, the product can be traced back to the supply chain," he added.'
If consumers believe they have bought one of the counterfeit chargers, they should call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 0405 06.