We use chargers all the time for portable games consoles, to charge up mobile phone, MP3 players – so much of our daily gear needs to be plugged in and recharged regularly. We do it without thought. But in Britain, Trading Standards has issued a warning about cheap Chinese chargers on sale in markets and online that are dangerous and could cause electrocution of fires.
Some of the chargers have the code DE62347066, according to the BBC, which revealed the story. Others carry no code but are sold under the name Travel Charger.
For now the warning has been given specifically for purchased chargers for Nintendo DS and DS Lite game consoles, but the substandard chargers can also be used with Gameboys.
Trading Standards is trying to recall the chargers, some of which are believe to carry a fake CE safety mark.
"The UK appears to be flooded with them. It probably runs into hundreds of thousands or even millions," said senior Trading Standards officer Chris Holden.
The big attraction about the chargers is the price – they retail for around $10 online and $12 in stores, compared to an average of $30 for safe chargers.
On the fakes, the pins don’t fit properly into wall sockets, and wires within the charger can become detached, leading to the possibility of electric shocks.
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