While they’re much cheaper than official chargers, safety regulators say unofficial iPhone or iPad chargers are more likely than not to be unsafe.
A new study by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) found that the vast majority of unofficial chargers are dangerous. The body tested 400 knock-off chargers made to fit Apple products and found that only three of them were well enough insulated to protect users against electric shocks.
In another test, the CTSI tested second-hand electric goods and found that 15 per cent of the 3,019 items tested were not up to scratch.
Leon Livermore, CTSI CEO has now issued a warning to urge people not to use counterfeit or second hand products, if they have not been tested. He said people could be putting their home, or even their lives, at risk, adding: “Only buy second-hand electrical goods that have been tested and only buy online electrical goods from trusted suppliers. It might cost a few pounds more but counterfeit and second-hand goods are an unknown entity that could cost you your home or even your life, or the life of a loved-one.”
He was backed by Gillian Guy, the head of Citizens Advice, who said that counterfeit goods were likely to be poor quality and unsafe. She urged consumers to look out for any mistakes made in names or logos, and to make sure that plugs had CE safety marks on them.
The research follows complaints made by Apple about fake iPhone chargers flooding the market, particularly through being sold on e-retail giant Amazon. An investigation by Apple found that 90 per cent of iPhone chargers being sold on Amazon were fakes.
The warning follows a spate of fires connected to iPhone chargers. One man told how his counterfeit charger had exploded and set his house on fire, while another man died after a blaze broke out when he left his phone charging overnight.