National Trading Standards said up to 15,000 of 17,000 gadgets – or nine in ten - that they examined during a recent operation have been detained, mainly for having non-compliant electrical components that could explode or catch fire.
With electrical items becoming more expensive it can be tempting to cut corners with dangerous copy chargers.
But with the majority of cheaper models deemed unsafe, especially while charging, you have to ask yourself – is it worth buying a substitute copy if it could destroy your home?
Always check the three pin plug on the device states its made to BS 1363 and avoid buying it if this information is missing.
Other tips from trading standards:
- Never leave the device charging unattended, especially overnight. A faulty cut-off switch or plug without a fuse - seen in many of the items - could lead to it overheating, exploding or catching fire.
- Check the shape of the plug. The first unsafe items identified often had a clover-shaped plug.
- Check for online reviews that seem genuine and for information about the company's head office and landline number. Sites that have spelling or grammar mistakes, including in the small print, can be an indication that it is not a professional operation.
- Never be dazzled by a bargain. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
- Report any concerns to Citizens Advice on 0344 411 1444
Always ensure you have working smoke alarms in your property. To request a Free Safe and Wellbeing Visit call us on 0191 916 0217 or 0191 916 0214 or ring Service Headquarters on 0345 2234221 and ask for Community Safety www.ddfire.gov.uk/free-safe-and-wellbeing-visit