A Facebook post has gone viral after warning of the dangers of illegal electrical plugs fitted to popular Christmas presents.
Jim Perry wrote the post, which was accompanied by a picture of one of the offending plugs, saying that he hoped his advice ‘might just save someone you love’. It has since received almost 10,000 likes and has been shared more than 20,000 times.
‘Just a quick bit of info for people who have bought their kids segways or hover boards or any other electrical device for Christmas, plugs like this are illegal in the UK for a few reasons,’ he writes.
‘First off there is no fuse fitted to the plug which offers no protection against shorting out or overheating, secondly the pins are too close to the outer case which could possibly electrocute you if removing from a socket, and finally you can see how the earth pin is partially sheathed (the top one) this offers next to no earth connection at all.’
‘These plugs come with a CE Mark on them which is not any sign of conformity to the British electrical regulations, all plugs being used in Britain must have the British Standards Mark BS1363 printed on them.’
‘If any of your chargers have plugs without the BS1363 Mark on them cut them off and fit a new plug with the relevant sized fuse (most of these chargers run at 2A so fit a 3A fuse). Pass the message on people it might just save someone you love.’
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Prior to Christmas 2015, warnings were issued about the safety of hoverboards in particular, after cheaper models with unsuitable plugs and unclear instructions caught on fire, with three incidents of exploding hoverboards in this year alone.
James Whiddett, operations manager for KCC Trading Standards, told the Daily Mail: ‘The first thing consumers should do is check the packaging.
‘They won’t have manufacturer details on them. Plugs won’t go into your socket properly and without a fuse, they’re very dangerous.’
‘The product itself should have a CE mark on it and the ones we have found have nothing on them at all.’
‘These things have batteries in them that can overheat and catch fire and we’ve seen that happen in the county already. Remember the golden rule, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.’
However, it seems the unsafe plugs are not limited to hoverboards, with Jim saying he’s also been sent reports of them being attached to fairy lights since his post went viral.
He is now urging people to continue sharing his message to proper electrical standards in homes across the UK.