The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), a not-for-profit membership organisation for supporting and representing trading standards professionals, conducted a test on 400 counterfeit Apple chargers from suppliers around the world, including the US, China and Australia.

The result was alarming: only 3 chargers from 400 succeeded to pass a basic safety test.

One of the tests consisted in high voltages applied to the chargers to check the insulation. Three units from 400 presented risks for electric shocks.

Exploded charger. (Photo: MEN Syndication)
Exploded charger. (Photo: MEN Syndication)

This comes after Apple sued a manufacturer, back in October, for selling counterfeit power adapters and charging cables through Amazon.

A separate operation found that of 3,019 electrical goods bought second hand, 15% were non-compliant.

“Only buy second-hand electrical goods that have been tested and only buy online electrical goods from trusted suppliers. It might cost a few pounds more but counterfeit and second-hand goods are an unknown entity that could cost you your home or even your life, or the life of a loved-one”, said Leon Livermore, CTSI chief executive.

How to spot a dangerous, counterfeit, mobile phone charger.

  1. Plug pins – check the distance between the edge of the pins and the edge of the charger. It should be at least 9.5mm. Plug the charger into a socket, but don’t switch it on or connect to a device. If the charger does not fit easily (the pins may be wrong size) there is a risk of electric shock.
  2. Markings – Look for a manufacturers’ brand name or logo, model and batch number. Check the concordance between the output voltage and current ratings marked on the charger and your device.
  3. Warnings and instructions – User instructions should include conditions and limitations of use, how to operate the charger safely, basic electric safety guidance and details of safe disposal

Source: Chartered Trading Standards Institute

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