Electrical Safety First aims to plug the gap

A tool originally designed by Electrical Safety First (ESF) to help trading standards identify potentially dangerous or counterfeit electrical items, has just been granted a design copyright.

ESF is the trading name used by the charity Electrical Safety Council, which aims to ensure that everyone in the UK understands the importance of electrical safety and that this remains a priority for consumers, trade and government.

As part of the charity’s work in supporting enforcement agencies, it has created a UK plug checker, as defective or foreign plugs can often indicate that a product is fake or sub-standard.

ESF said the tool has proved 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.

Martyn Allen, head of ESF’s electro-technical department, said: “We wanted to create something simple that would help those on the front line to identify non-compliant and potentially dangerous products.

“For example, the checker was used extensively by Trading Standards to identify and remove dangerous hoverboards [a rechargeable self-balancing scooter or two-wheeled board] 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 checks relating to the placement, shape and length of the plug’s pins. Should the plug fail on any of these tests, the charity recommends that the appliance should not be used. Common products which can carry substandard plugs, include kitchen appliances, chargers, travel adapters, hair straighteners, fans, and power tools.

Plug checkers are now available to purchase for just £1 each + vat. This fee contributes towards printing and distribution. Visit http://electricalsafetyfirst.instantcart.com.

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