Trading Standards officers have issued a warning about the dangers caused by fake chargers for mobile phones, tablets and electronic cigarettes and the associated risks of fire hazard and electric shock.

In a recent investigation, more than 50 per cent of chargers sampled by East Riding Council’s trading standards officers proved to be unfit for sale. After recently removing 55 chargers from sale, the officers bought a sample of 11 from mobile phone accessories shops, discount shops, market stalls and e-cigarette shops across the East Riding.

Independent tests showed three had critical safety failures and another three had technical failures on the markings or instructions.

Colin Briggs, manager of the council’s trading standards services, said: “Some of the chargers were so cheap, it was ridiculous. We are still carrying out our investigations as to where these chargers were made, but it looks like they came from the Far East.

“We are urging bargain-hunters to steer clear of cheap chargers and to only buy reputable brands that will meet the safety requirements.”

The main faults found in unsafe chargers across the UK include inadequate insulation between the input and output circuits, leading to a risk of fire and electric shock. Other faults include components not properly secured or poorly soldered, incorrect size and positioning of live and neutral pins and a lack of proper instructions for use.

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