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The Rise in Counterfeit Electrical Goods and How to Fight it?

According to a report by the European Parliament into fake products, over five million counterfeit goods were seized by customs authorities during 2015, an increase of 15 per cent from 2014. These fake goods continue to be a growing problem for the UK, posing a significant challenge for businesses, landlords, retailers, and facility managers alike – in fact, anyone responsible for the safety of occupied buildings.

So, what can be done by those responsible to limit the potentially lethal threat to businesses from counterfeit electrical appliances?

Check the Product for Red Flags
There are several precautionary steps that can be taken, such as only buying electrical appliances from trusted suppliers. Also, checking the packaging and labelling of the goods can be a real giveaway. Check whether the package been tampered with, if all the regulatory information is present and whether there are any misspellings. Even the weight and feel of an appliance, or even the extension cord, can be a sign it has been replaced with a counterfeit. A common clue is to look for a kitemark, if it cannot be found or it is a bad replication of a genuine mark, this should be cause for concern.

Staff Involvement
Educating and training staff on how to spot counterfeit products and false packaging is advisable. Company-wide vigilance is encouraged and anyone in contact with deliveries has a responsibility to keep an eye out. Training and regular reminders help instil these checks into employee’s everyday routines.

 

Regular Portable Appliance Testing

In addition, regular and efficient Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) can weed out the faulty electrical appliances if they have already entered the business. To address safety concerns surrounding counterfeit appliances, businesses should adopt a regime of frequently checking electrical items. Regular maintenance, inspection and testing can identify hazardous, fake electrical goods.

This can be achieved either in-house, by organising practical electrical training for staff and by purchasing testing equipment, or through external support with the services of an experienced PAT testing company.

If your business requires help with appliance or electrical device inspections to ensure they meet regulations, REACT Pat Testing ltd are NICEIC approved Portable Appliance Testing Specialist operating across South Wales. Contact us today on: 0800 999 7369 to combat any risk of fake electrical goods to your business.

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