A test of some of the devices for sale revealed that they all failed basic safety and one even exploded
A charity has warned that “highly dangerous” gadgets designed to help households save on energy bills amid the cost of living crisis are being put up for sale online.
Electrical Safety First video footage shows equipment exploding, risking fire and electric shock.
Some of these devices are available on eBay, which took the results “extremely seriously” and immediately removed the products from sale.
What are the products?
Electrical Safety First investigated the products after advertisements claimed that these devices save energy or “stabilize electrical current.”
The charity bought four, one from GetMotex.com and three similar devices through eBay. All four devices were sent to an independent laboratory for testing.
All four devices were sent to an independent laboratory for specialist testing, but they failed basic safety standards and pose a risk of fire and electric shock.
Video footage, captured while testing the product’s ability to safely handle a short circuit, shows the device exploding, hurling fragments of hot, glowing metal into the air.
Further testing revealed errors in the size and dimension of the plug pins, which poses a risk of damage to the power outlet.
Energy saving claims are largely linked to internal electronic components called capacitors to “smooth the electric current”, but in one of the devices the capacitor was not connected internally, making the component useless.
what was said
The results come as consumers are being urged to conserve energy wherever they can in a bid to cut soaring bills.
Electrical Safety First Chief Executive Lesley Rudd said: “Claims about energy savings will no doubt have more appeal to people at this time, but the devices we are testing could cost you your safety.
“Given the current climate and the hardship people are facing, the security flaws present in each of these devices are even more despicable. We urge everyone to buy from a reputable retailer you know and trust to protect themselves from dangerous goods.”
The charity has also shared its findings with the Advertising Standards Authority over concerns about products’ energy efficiency claims and with the Office for Product Safety and Standards.
An eBay spokesman said: “We take product safety very seriously and welcome the information provided to us by Electrical Safety First on these products.
“In addition to our block filtering algorithms and security teams monitoring the site, we work closely with a variety of stakeholders to ensure eBay remains free of unsafe products.
“In this case, our close working relationship with Westminster Trading Standards enabled the rapid removal of these products through our regulatory portal.”
Electrical Safety First said it also contacted the seller of the device purchased from GetMotex.com but received no confirmation of the action taken, and the products remained on sale.