We are supporting Electrical Fire Safety Week (22nd-28th November) together with Electrical Safety First.
Did you know that over half of all accidental house fires are caused by electricity? Nine out of ten electrical fires are caused by electrical products.
In the last year, East Sussex Fire and Rescue attended 134 fires in the home where the source of the fire was an electrical product.
Online marketplaces, already seen as convenient and cheap options for buying household goods, increased in popularity last year. This year, with supply chain issues threatening Christmas deliveries and cautious attitudes towards returning to pre-Covid normality, it is likely that once again shoppers will be driven online in the search for those “must have” Christmas gifts and gadgets. However, sellers of counterfeit or sub-standard electrical products exploit online marketplaces for the ease with which they can sell their goods to a mass market – it can be impossible to know what you are actually buying, with no real guarantee that the product you receive will be genuine.
Electrical Safety First has carried out numerous tests on electrical products purchased from well- known online marketplaces, with the majority of them failing to meet UK safety standards and some posing a severe risk of electric shock or fire. More needs to be done to stop these products being made available to UK consumers.
- If you are shopping online, buy from a retailer that you know and trust, either direct from the manufacturer’s website or a trusted High Street name – that way if something goes wrong, you can return the product for repair or a refund.
- Fake and substandard items can be almost impossible to spot. Online shoppers are being misled by imagery taken from official product sites, fake official safety marks and believable pricing – items can even be priced just a few pounds below recommended retail value to avoid arousing suspicion.
- Buying fake electrical products is particularly risky as they often contain faulty parts that can overheat and catch fire or deliver a fatal electric shock. While many items appear sophisticated on the outside, they lack essential safety components inside.
- If a bargain seems too good to be true, it probably is.
For more information, advice and guidance on electrical fire safety, visit: Electrical fire safety ¦ East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (esfrs.org). You can also check out, Electrical Safety First’s new voice app available for Alexa and Google Nest, which makes it easy for you to find out if the electrical products in your home have been subject to a recall.