According to Gallup Consulting and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 64 percent of counterfeit electrical products in the United States are purchased from legitimate shops and retailers. More than one million counterfeit electrical products have been recalled in recent years, including extension cords, power strips, batteries, and hairdryers.
Every day, counterfeit electrical products are finding their way into our homes, businesses, and public institutions. These fraudulent items pose significant safety hazards, and can cause deaths, injuries and substantial property loss in the home and the workplace if left undetected.
"The current U.S. economic conditions have essentially acted as a catalyst within the context of counterfeit consumer electrical products," explains Electrical Safety Foundation International president Brett Brenner. "People are going to great lengths in search of a bargain, favoring alternative retailers and online vendors, which is where these substandard products are more likely to be found."
To recognize National Electrical Safety Month this May, ESFI kicks off the Buyer Beware Anti-Counterfeiting Campaign to educate the public about how to recognize dangerous and defective counterfeit electrical products and avoid purchasing them when shopping online or in traditional retail outlets.
Counterfeit electrical products can be difficult to spot. They can be knock-off versions of brand name products or items that bear an unauthorized certification marking, and may be manufactured without key components or compliance to relevant safety standards in order to save money.
"Anti-counterfeiting has been the focus of a major effort across the electrical industry this year," notes Brenner. "National Electrical Safety Month presented a perfect opportunity for ESFI to expand the reach of this message to the American public – the end-users of these products who may be unknowingly putting themselves in imminent danger."
ESFI has developed a complimentary Buyer Beware campaign toolkit that features a collection of informational materials, tools, and resources to encourage local communities to organize their own National Electrical Safety Month awareness activities. The contents of this toolkit can be downloaded and at no cost from ESFI's website (www.electrical-safety.org), and can be customized to meet the needs of your organization.
The Buyer Beware Anti-Counterfeiting Campaign was developed by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) to help increase national awareness about dangerous and defective counterfeit electrical products that are threatening to harm the safety and welfare of communities everywhere. ESFI proudly sponsors and promotes National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase electrical safety awareness in the home and the workplace.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is the premier 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to preventing electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities in the home and the workplace. Established in 1994 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, and Underwriters Laboratories, ESFI is highly regarded by industry, media, and community safety partners as a leading authority on electrical safety issues.