Fake phone charger catches fire

Tangled phone charger cablesUK Trading Standards has raided a shop in Crawley after a customer reported that a phone charger bought there caught fire.

The officers found hundreds of counterfeit and illegal items at the shop, including laptop and phone chargers, lighters and replacement batteries.

The defective charger was found on inspection to be unsafe "due to its poor construction and inadequate labelling," according to Philip Lipscomb, operations manager West Sussex Trading Standards.

The charger was not a counterfeit - in other words it was not being passed off as being manufactured by a recognised brand owner - but was cheaply made and poorly packaged without instructions

"A number of other items confiscated at the store, including a Nokia battery, were also found to be counterfeit," said Lipscomb.

The news follows two reports from China of people receiving electric shocks from third-party copies of Apple power adaptors, one of which was fatal.

Apple launched a takeback programme for counterfeit or cheap third-party iPhone and iPad chargers earlier this month, initially in the US and China, but has now extended it to include 30 countries around the world.

The company is giving consumers the option of trading in their own adapter - no questions asked - and receive a genuine Apple product for a $10 fee or local equivalent.

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