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Avoiding Fake Electrical Products

Counterfeit electrical products are hitting the market, posing safety hazards.

It’s important to know how to detect fakes because their failure could result in property loss, injuries, and even death.

“Counterfeit devices do not meet basic safety standards, and they will not provide the shock and fire protection that you’d expect,” explains Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) President Brett Brenner.

Everyday items such as power strips, hair dryers, and irons can be manufactured to look like name-brand cousins. However, they generally use inferior materials and are therefore dangerous, according to ESFI.

To avoid counterfeits, follow these ESFI guidelines:

• ​Shop at reputable retailers, instead of deep discount stores or flea markets. Avoid electrical products from unknown companies or unauthorized sellers.
• ​Ensure products have certification marks from independent testers, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
•​ Check for product recalls on the UL and Consumer Product Safety Commission Web sites.

—NRECA COOPERATIVE RESEARCH NETWORK

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