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Warning over dangerous chargers online

Unsafe adaptors found on aution sites


Connor O'keeffe

Connor O’Keeffe

A trading standards probe has uncovered potentially dangerous electrical chargers and adaptors for sale online.

Trading standards officers (TSOs) found just six out of 21 chargers they bought from UK-based sellers on auction sites fully complied with safety rules.

Seven were dangerous enough to pose a risk of electrocution. Under pressure from the TSOs, the sellers agreed to recall any chargers they’d sold.

The chargers are similar to the one which killed seven-year-old Connor O’Keeffe on a family holiday in Thailand last Christmas.

Holiday death

Connor was electrocuted while playing with his Gameboy, using a counterfeit, unsafe charger bought on the holiday island.

His mum, Patsy, from south-east London, said: ‘It’s terrible that other people might be unwittingly putting themselves or their children at risk. God forbid that what happened to Connor could happen to someone else.’

The electrical chargers investigation by Hertfordshire TSOs was launched following a complaint about a faulty electrical laptop adaptor.

The TSOs bought 21 items from online auction sites and chose sellers with a UK address. But some goods were still posted to them from Hong Kong or China.

Use recognised firms

Further inquiries and investigations are now ongoing to determine any action to take against the UK traders and individuals involved.

Trading Standards Institute Chief Executive Ron Gainsford said: ‘This is an alarming finding and it demonstrates the risks people are taking when they buy cheaper, unbranded and possibly counterfeit products of this type online from traders they do not know.’

He added: ‘I would advise people to be very wary of buying this type of product except from recognised firms they trust, and to always follow the recommendations of reputable manufacturers.’

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