A warning has been issued over buying cheap electrical products after a counterfeit iPod charger caught fire in a house in Shoreham.
Firefighters were last month called to a property in Shoreham when a charger, which had been purchased cheaply online, ignited, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service said.
The back of the unsafe charger exploded, scorching the socket and tripping out the electricity.
No one was injured in the incident, but at the start of Electrical Fire Safety Week, the fire service and Trading Standards have teamed up to highlight the risks of unwittingly buying counterfeit electrical goods.
Community fire safety manager for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Jackie Boyle, said: “We have seen an increase in the number of fires involving cheap, non-branded electrical products.
“We all like a bargain, but when it comes to electrical goods, if the price looks too good to be true, then it probably is.
“It’s not worth putting your own safety or family’s safety at risk just to save a few pounds.
“With Christmas approaching we’d urge people to steer clear of the dodgy fakes.
“The best way to protect yourself from substandard and counterfeit goods is to buy your electrical products from reputable retailers, on the high street or via their websites.”
Last year crews attended 123 electrical fires in West Sussex, making it one of the leading causes of accidental house fires in the county.
Electrical Fire Safety Week runs from Monday, November 9 to Monday, November 16, and officers will be raising awareness of the dangers of substandard electrical products and offer advice on how to reduce the risk of an electrical fire in the home.
Peter Aston, Trading Standards Manager, added: “The increase in popularity of online shopping has made it easier for substandard electrical goods to slip through the net.
“Items purchased directly from non-EU manufacturers often bypass the normal safety checks.
If you have suspicions about a product’s safety or think it’s a fake, you can contact your Trading Standards on 03454 040506 or use the online reporting form at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport
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