Saturday, 19 Jul, 2008 Current Events

Cheap Chargers - How Expensive Can That Be?


Unsafe Charger DE262347066
Courtesy of BBC.CO.UK
The UK Trading Standards officers are concerned of the fact that hundreds of thousands of chargers for mobile phones, games consoles, MP3 players and other mobile devices did not pass a proper safety test before being sold. Officers are studying thousands of cases of unsafe charges, probably originating from China, being sold in shops and on the Internet. Tests have shown that some chargers can overheat or cause electrocution.

Among the chargers concerned, one had the code marking DE62347066, which the users should be aware of. Other chargers have no code and are called Travel Charger.

Chris Holden, a senior trading standards officer, said that the UK appeared to be flooded with such chargers. At this point one could add that this was not an exclusively UK problem, but a global one.

The Trading Standards has already issued a warning about specific chargers, namely for the Nintendo DS and DS Lite. Chargers for such game consoles could be also fitted to use with the Gameboy game console. Officers from the TS are currently trying to recall all the chargers.

Chris Holden, however acknowledged that there could be a much bigger problem about the unsafe chargers. Some of them could carry a fake CE safety marking, which could mislead the buyers about the safety of such devices.

Mr. Holden revealed that chargers of such poor quality are being sold for 5 pounds on the Internet and for 6 pounds in shops. Safe chargers, on the other hand, which have been properly tested and approved of, are being sold for about 15 pounds.

The main concern about the danger of such devices comes from the fact that their wires become detached after some time of usage, thus leading to a risk of being electrocuted. The pins of some chargers do not fit properly into the UK sockets, which can cause overheating.

The problem of counterfeit chargers for mobile devices was raised after the death of a British seven-year-old boy, Connor Dean O'Keeffe. Connor was found dead by his mother on the floor of the apartment in Thailand, where the family was on a vacation. The boy was trying to use his games console charger.

Chris Holden mentioned that hundreds of suppliers were bringing such chargers into the UK.

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