Shared Regulatory Services is advising businesses to proceed with caution when selling e-cigarette chargers to consumers, after more than half of the products they recently surveyed failed safety tests.
In total, 17 e-cigarette chargers were purchased from a number of small retailers across Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, and 10 (58 per cent) failed an initial screening test.
The chargers were sent for further testing but failed to meet the requirements of the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 for a variety of reasons, including:
- Markings/ instructions
- Protection from access to live parts and electric shock
- Pin length insufficient
As a result of the testing, officers seized all non-compliant chargers from the premises that had failures and issued advice to traders regarding what to look for when purchasing stock, to avoid selling unsafe and non-compliant electrical items.
This formed part of a wider safety survey carried out by Wales Heads of Trading Standards, and followed a survey carried out in Cardiff in 2014/2015 which showed a failure rate of 80 per cent for e-cigarette chargers.
Cllr Gwyn John, chair of the joint committee for Shared Regulatory Services, said:
“The use of e-cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco products such as cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco is on the increase, and so the result of this survey sends a clear warning to businesses of the requirement to be diligent when selecting products to sell to the public.
“We are dedicated to protecting consumers from harm, so I hope this survey also helps raise awareness amongst our residents, and provides reassurance that our Trading Standards team is working hard to ensure unsafe and dangerous products are not being sold across the region.”
Shared Regulatory Services would like consumers to consider the following before buying an e-cigarette charger:
Does it have a manufacturers’ brand name or logo or Trade Mark on the equipment?
Does it have a model name or number?
Does it have a CE mark?
Is the input voltage marked and is equal to or greater than 230 V?
Are instructions available to allow safe use of the product?
If the answer is ‘no’ to these questions, then the charger may pose a risk and should not be purchased.
To report an unsafe product or for advice on your rights when purchasing goods or services, call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506. All calls are logged and forwarded to Shared Regulatory Services’ Trading Standards team for assessment.