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We’ve released a new report warning of the dangers of counterfeit Apple iPhone chargers, which could put people’s lives at risk.
The stark warning, ahead of the launch of Apple’s iPhone 6 next week, follows a number of incidents involving counterfeit iPhone chargers, including one in February when firefighters were called to a house in Tottenham after an imitation charger caught fire while charging.
Our fire investigation experts carried out a range of tests on a number of widely available counterfeit chargers and say people who use these dodgy devices could be risking electrocution, burns or even a serious house fire.
Fire investigator Andrew Vaughan–Davies said: “I was shocked at how potentially dangerous these chargers are. There have been some near misses in the last few months and, unless people stop buying them, it’s only a matter of time before we are called to a fatal fire.
“Genuine chargers may cost more and you may think you are only paying for the brand name, but you’re actually buying peace of mind because you know the charger is going to be of better quality and specifically designed for your phone.
"For the sake of saving a few pounds is it worth putting the lives of your family at risk and taking the chance of potentially destroying your home?”
The two genuine Apple iPhone chargers analysed by investigators had 60 or more components in their circuitry while the sub-standard chargers had, on average, less than half that number.
Mr Vaughan-Davies added: “It is very difficult to see how the counterfeit models can be performing to the same standards as a genuine charger.”
We have also been contacted by concerned Londoners seeking advice after finding the casing of their counterfeit iPhone chargers scorched or burned after use.
Some counterfeit chargers can be bought for as little as 99p and, as well as putting people at risk of fire and injury, investigators warned they could cause damage to the iPhone being charged.
As part of our investigation, we analysed and compared a number of chargers. Some were purchased from the internet, some were from incidents attended by firefighters and others were submitted by Trading Standards and Electrical Safety First.
Investigators noticed a number of ‘tell-tale’ signs that gave the fake Apple iPhone chargers away.
Our top tips for buying replacement Apple iPhone chargers are:
If you think you have got a counterfeit Apple iPhone charger, we’d advise you stop using it and replace it with a genuine charger bought from a reputable retailer.