Research by leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First, found that one in six consumers in the UK have bought a fake electrical item as a Christmas gift.
The research also shows that most people are unable to identify a genuine electrical product from a fake.
Nigel Dodds MP is helping the charity raise awareness of the dangers of counterfeits in the run up to the Christmas shopping period when high street and digital retailers offer a range of special offers and discounts.
“Christmas is always expensive and we are all keen to get a bargain but Electrical Safety First’s research makes it clear that shoppers must beware of fakes – particularly via the web”, explains Nigel Dodds.
“The Charity found that three out of five fake electricals are purchased online, with a third of buyers experiencing major problems with the item. With almost two thirds of all domestic fires in Northern Irish homes caused by electricity, this is a risk you don’t want to take.”
Electrical Safety First also found that it’s not always easy for people to spot a counterfeit product. Three quarters of UK consumers were unable to identify Genuine GHD hair straighteners and three in five could not spot a fake Apple charger - and with the rise of online shopping, it can be even more difficult. One in five online shoppers admitted they didn’t consider the authenticity of the product, with over half simply presuming that the electrical items for sale online were genuine.
And, of course, some people are deliberately buying fake products. One in six of those surveyed said they would consider buying a product – even if they suspected it was fake – if it was cheaper than the original. Fake goods are often cheaper because they omit key components which can affect both the safety and functionality of the product.