Take care if buying electrical goods online this Christmas

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan is urging constituents to be cautious when shopping online for electrical products in the run up to Christmas.

By John A. MacInnes
Friday, 4th December 2020, 11:06 am
Fake telephone chargers have always been a worry for  trading standards departments.
Fake telephone chargers have always been a worry for trading standards departments.

Concerns around COVID-19 have led many people to do more of their shopping online this year.

Consumer safety charity Electrical Safety First has carried out research for Electrical Safety Week which shows that three out of five consumers in Scotland will be shopping in online marketplaces this Christmas.

But the charity is warning shoppers that they need to be aware of risks. Multiple investigations by Electrical Safety First have found dangerous products, which present a serious fire risk, can easily be bought from third party sellers via the internet.

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Now Alasdair, as part of his support for Electrical Fire Safety Week, is helping the charity raise awareness of this risk in the run-up to the Christmas shopping period.

The MSP commented: “Electrical Safety First’s research has shown that almost 60% of us in Scotland will buy from online marketplaces this Christmas. And 58% are planning to use these websites more than usual.

“This seems to be partly because some people believe these websites are a safer way of shopping than going to local shops during the pandemic. But this confidence is not supported by the charity’s investigations, which have repeatedly found unsafe electricals for sale online, including on Amazon Marketplace, eBay and Wish.com.

“Electrical Safety First’s research indicates that over 20% are planning to buy an electrical item as a gift this Christmas – yet it has previously found that in the UK three out of five fake electricals are purchased online, with a third of buyers experiencing major problems with the item.

“I am joining with Electrical Safety First to urge my constituents to reduce their chances of buying dangerous electricals by sticking to the stores or websites of known manufacturers and retailers and to beware of buying from third party sellers on these platforms. We all love a bargain and Christmas is always expensive, but with nearly three-quarters of house fires in Scotland caused by electricity - and most arising from electrical products - this is a risk you don’t want to take.”

For more advice on how to shop safe this Christmas visit: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/spotthefake