Electrical Fire Safety Week

An electrical device

It’s Electrical Fire Safety Week!

Electrical Fire Safety Week is an awareness campaign run by Electrical Safety First and Fire Kills.  This year they would like to make us more aware of the fire risks involved in purchasing counterfeit electrical items, particularly from online sellers.

Cheaper isn’t always better

electric toy trainWe all know the convenience of buying online, particularly in the run-up to Christmas, and the price is often a big consideration when making purchases.  According to Electrical Safety First, 58% of UK adults say that they use online marketplaces for their Christmas shopping. So, how much would you think about whether the item you’ve bought will cause a fire?

Selling counterfeit or sub-standard electrical items in large numbers is extremely easy, but it’s impossible to know if you are buying genuine items.  Electrical Safety First carried out several tests on electrical products from well-known online marketplaces.  The majority failed to meet UK safety standards, with some having a serious risk of electric shock or fire!

Be Vigilant

So how can you ensure that the items you are buying aren’t going to burst into flames or give you a nasty shock?

  • Always purchase from a retailer that you know and trust.  Either directly from their website or through a High Street name.  If something goes wrong with the item, you will be able to return it for repair or a refund.
  • Fakes can be difficult, if not impossible, to spot.  Sellers often use pictures taken from official sites, along with fake safety marks. Even if it looks like a bargain, it’s probably too good to be true.  Sellers deliberately undercut the price given by official sites to draw buyers in.
  • Fake electrical products often have faulty parts which are likely to overheat and catch fire or an electric shock. Official products have undergone rigorous safety checks.

Electrical Safety First offer a free ‘Check it Out’ browser extension (for Chrome, Safari, Edge & Firefox) which identifies third-party sellers on online shopping sites, which helps buyers to know more about who they are buying from https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/check-it-out/