Think fire safety on Black Friday

Laptop fireFirefighters are warning consumers to shop carefully on Black Friday and avoid fake electrical products which could present a serious fire risk.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is also supporting Electrical Fire Safety Week, which runs from 19-25 November,and will be promoting electrical safety along with highlighting the dangers of buying fake electrical items online this week. 

Crews also want people to register their new electrical appliances online after it was found over half of all accidental house fires are caused by electricity. And nine out of 10 electrical fires are caused by electrical products.

Nick Evans, Head of Prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are urging shoppers in Cheshire, Halton and Warrington to take the time to check that the products they are buying are genuine at all times, but particularly on Black Friday. Fake electrical products appear more convincing than ever, but they can contain less than half the internal components required to run safely. So, while there will be a lot of demand for this year’s “must have” Christmas gifts, remember that if a bargain looks too good to be true, the chances are it probably is”.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has the following tips to help shoppers avoid dangerous fake and substandard electrical products:

  • Buy electrical products from reputable retailers, this way you can be assured you’re buying the real thing.

  • Check prices and shop around! Check online shops and if possible, visit the high street. If a bargain looks too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Check that voltage is 230-240V, 50Hz and those products are fitted with a three-pin UK plug or charger.

  • Look for the padlock symbol at the bottom of the screen when you are filling in your payment details.

  • Beware glowing reviews, especially if the reviewers aren’t verified.

  • Beware of words qualifying an item’s authenticity, if the seller claims the product is ‘genuine’, ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ double check the source. Most reputable retailers don’t need to sell their products like this.

  • Look for the seller’s contact details, for online marketplaces. Look for a full address and not just a PO Box number.  Not all websites with a .co.uk address are based in the UK.

  • Read product guarantees, terms and conditions, and returns policies before you buy

People buying domestic appliances on Black Friday should visit Register My Appliance (opens in new window) which is designed to provide up-to-date, accurate, contact information for owners who have acquired specific models of appliances within the last 12, so manufacturers can issue safety updates or repair notifications to the right homes. The website provides access to the registration pages of 47 leading brands of domestic appliances.

Nick added: “I would urge everyone to register their electrical appliances on this website. If you have family or friends who don’t have access to a computer then please help them by registering on their behalf.”

Date published: Fri, 23 Nov 2018 09:56:48 GMT

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