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Warning over "USB chargers"

Created on 22/05/2017 @ 09:41
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Trading standards officers are to warn businesses in Newtown to be cautious over selling certain types of USB chargers after a survey found nearly half failed safety tests.

Shoppers are also being urged not to buy such items that fail to meet electrical safety requirements.

53 per cent (48.6 per cent) of products failed either the initial screening test or the test house examination. 24 products failed the screen test and were referred to the relevant local authority for appropriate action while 29 were sent for further testing.

The charges that were sent for further testing failed to meet the requirements of the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 for a variety of reasons, including:

·         Markings / instructions
·         Construction
·         Protection from access to live parts and electrical shock
·         Pin length insufficient
Appropriate action has been carried out by the council’s Trading Standards Services against the premises that had failures. Advice has also been issued to traders regarding what to look for when purchasing stock to avoid selling unsafe and non-compliant electrical items.
Clive Jones, the council’s Professional Lead for Trading Standards, said: “The use of replacement USB style chargers for products such as e-cigarettes and mobile phones are on the increase so the result of this survey sends a clear warning to businesses of the requirement to be diligent when selecting products to sell to the public.  
“We are dedicated to protecting consumers from harm, so I hope this survey also helps raise awareness amongst our residents, and provides reassurance that we are working hard to ensure unsafe and dangerous products are not being sold.” 
The council’s Trading Standards Service would like consumers to consider the following before buying a replacement USB style charger:
·         Does it have a manufacturers’ brand name or logo or Trade Mark on the equipment?
·         Does it have a model name or number? 
·         Does it have a CE mark? 
·         Is the input voltage marked and is equal to or greater than 230 V? 
·         Are instructions available to allow safe use of the product? 
If the answer is ‘no’ to these questions, then the charger may pose a risk and should not be purchased. 
To report an unsafe product or for advice on your rights when purchasing goods or services, call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.

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