Renfrewshire Council Trading Standards officers have reminded the public to stay vigilant for dodgy devices and chargers following Christmas.

With countless mobile phones, tablets and games consoles given as gifts or snapped-up in the festive sales, many households across the area will have new electrical items.

People are being urged only to buy electrical goods from trusted sources as fake equipment often poses serious safety risks.

Items should also be checked for tell-tale signs of counterfeiting. Mistakes in brand names or logos could suggest a device is not what it seems and may harbour hidden dangers.

Councillor Eddie Devine, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s environment policy board, said: “We are all tempted by a bargain and most of us trust that what we buy will be safe.

“Unfortunately counterfeit goods make their way into circulation and criminals are adept at luring people into buying sub-standard items.
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“These may seem like a great deal but many will fail very basic safety requirements. They may be prone to overheating and that could cause a fire with potentially tragic consequences.”

The use of even genuine, high-quality electrical devices can be made dangerous if they are powered by fake chargers or plugs.

An international investigation targeting counterfeit chargers marketed for use with Apple devices found 99 per cent failed a basic safety test, revealing many of the fake power adaptors bought online posed a risk of electric shock.

Councillor Devine added: “Experts advise people to only ever use genuine chargers made for use with the particular product.

“If the price of an electrical device or charger looks just too good to be true and if the seller isn’t familiar to us, then we really need to consider if it’s genuine – and make a decision we can live with.”