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  • Writer's pictureSam Horder

The Problem with Buying from China

There are a lot of fake and dangerous items produced in China and sold here in the UK that the general public is not aware of. Had my client not had a problem with his cabinet lighting, he would have been blissfully unaware of the fire risk it posed.

The fault occurred within the transformer and a defect within the unit caused the capacitor to explode with enough force that my client heard it from another room!

Asking me if I could replace the transformer, I took it away for inspection and to cannibalise the cabling to work with the lighting that was installed.

Immediately there were further issues: no fuse, and the cable itself was only 0.5mm. When I stripped the cable insulation back for inspection, both the live and the neutral had shorted. The cable was the fuse, and luckily, because the transformer had blown, the owner had unplugged it before a fire could start. So please be careful, if the plug isn't the same size as a UK plug, question how safe it is, and how safe really is the item you have just purchased.

According to volunteer organisation PlugSafe, "CE Marking is NEVER appropriate for domestic mains plugs and sockets. The CE Marking scheme is a self-certification scheme to indicate that a product complies with the relevant EU Directive. There is no such thing as 'CE approval'. Domestic plugs and sockets, such as those conforming to BS 1363, are controlled by national standards, not EU standards, and must not therefore have a CE Marking applied to them".

If you've had a similar experience with a counterfeit plug, please let us know in the comments below. Also, PlugSafe would love to hear from you, and you can contact them via their website.

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