A simple but effective tool, originally designed by Electrical Safety First to help trading standards identify potentially dangerous or counterfeit electrical items, has just been granted a design copyright.
As part of the Charity’s work in supporting enforcement agencies, Electrical Safety First created a UK plug checker, as defective or foreign plugs can often indicate that a product is fake or sub-standard. The tool has proven so successful with Trading Standards Officers that it has now been distributed to every TS office and Fire and Rescue Service Centre in the UK.
“We wanted to create something simple that would help those on the front line to identify non-compliant and potentially dangerous products“, explains Martyn Allen, Head of Electrical Safety First’s Electro-Technical Department.
“For example, the checker was used extensively by Trading Standards to identify and remove dangerous hover boards, which hit the headlines last Christmas – many of which carried non-compliant plugs. Sub-standard and counterfeit electrical plugs can be deadly, so we are delighted that we have now obtained a copyright on this easy-to-use tool, which has been such a resounding success.”
The Plug checker allows users to undertake three simple checks relating to the placement, shape and length of the plug’s pins. Should the plug fail on any of these tests, the Charity recommend that the appliance should not be used. Common products which can carry substandard plugs, include: chargers, travel adapters, hair straighteners, fans, kitchen appliances and power tools.