Potentially lethal phone chargers seized

By on 21/12/2011 in News

Potentially lethal phone chargers seized by Birmingham City Council Trading Standards officers.Christmas bargain hunters are being warned not to put their lives at risk after Trading Standards officers seized thousands of potentially lethal mobile phone chargers from a Birmingham warehouse.

Acting on a tip-off from a member of the public, officers raided a new wholesale business in the Hockley area of the city, discovering potentially deadly mobile phone chargers along with counterfeit mobile phone accessories.

The chargers were made with unsuitable electrical insulation and inadequately sized pins, some of which were too thick and risked overheating within the socket, which is what can cause them to catch fire and explode.

Vir Ahluwalia, operations manager at Birmingham Trading Standards, said: “The items seized failed to meet UK safety standards, we carried out safety checks on similar chargers in the past, which we believe have been manufactured in China.

“These chargers had a catalogue of faults which posed a real risk of both causing fires and electrocuting people.”

Urging shoppers to only buy electrical devices from reputable businesses, he added: “Consumers on the look out for a bargain need to be mindful of whether it is worth taking a risk with safety.

“These devices could end up causing consumers serious injuries or even death, so our advice is to steer well clear of them.

“We encourage everyone to only buy these items that are properly packaged with instructions for use, that have the manufacturer or importer's address, and are marked with the manufacturer's name or recognised symbol, and batch number.”

Cllr Neil Eustace Chair of Public Protection Committee concluded: “Over the Christmas period consumers will be looking for great bargains, but the message is simple: Buyer beware. For the sake of a few pounds, it's just not worth taking the risk.

“If you're concerned you may have purchased one of these chargers, you should stop using it immediately. Any retailers who have them in stock should ensure that they are removed from sale and consumer returns refunded.”

ENDS

Photographs can be downloaded from the following link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamnewsroom/sets/72157628509216303/

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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