Buyer Beware: Electrical Safety Foundation International Warns Consumers about the Dangers of Counterfeit Electrical Products
Rosslyn, VA, November 12, 2008 /PRNewswire/ — Every day, counterfeit electrical products are finding their way into our homes, businesses, and public institutions. Last year alone, the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) seized $200 million in counterfeit goods, ten percent of which were electronics and electrical products.
Counterfeit electrical products pose significant safety hazards, and can cause deaths, injuries and substantial property loss if undetected.
Despite counterfeiters targeting well-known industrial and consumer brands, the majority of U.S. consumers remain in the dark about counterfeit electrical products and the serious dangers they pose. According to a recent study conducted by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), the majority of Americans are unable to recognize a difference between a counterfeit item and its original version.
As the holiday season unfolds against the backdrop of a harsh economic recession, U.S. consumers shopping for inexpensive gifts face increased risk of exposure to these fraudulent products.
"The safety risks associated with buying a counterfeit watch or purse are fairly minimal," states Brett Brenner, president of the Electrical Safety Foundation International. "However, counterfeit extension cords, cell phone chargers, and circuit breakers pose a very real threat. We are seeing multiple examples of fires igniting and fatalities occurring because someone unknowingly purchased something as mundane as a knock-off extension cord."
To bring attention to this important public safety issue, ESFI has partnered with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) to launch a national electrical counterfeit awareness program to help educate consumers about the steps that can be taken to identify and avoid these dangerous devices.
"Every day more counterfeit electrical products enter into the United States undetected," notes Brenner. "We need consumers to be aware that these products are out there and that they can kill."
Although counterfeit products may appear to be excellent copies of their originals, these products are often made using inferior materials and lax methods to produce substandard products advertised at prices unable to be matched by a genuine brand manufacturer.
For more information or to see a fact sheet about electrical counterfeiting, visit www.electrical-safety.org.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is the leading authority on electrical safety issues. Our mission is to reduce electrically-related deaths and injuries through public education that keeps electrical safety at the forefront in people's mind. ESFI provides the general public, school children, and the workforce with the resources necessary to aid in the prevention of deadly electrical accidents.