Research by leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First, found that 1 in 6 consumers in the UK have bought a fake electrical item as a Christmas gift – and most of us are unable to identify a genuine electrical product from a fake.

Now Gerald Jones, the MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, is helping the charity raise awareness of the dangers of counterfeits in the run up to the Christmas shopping period when high street and digital retailers offer a range of special offers and discounts. 

“Christmas is always expensive and we are all keen to get a bargain but Electrical Safety First’s research makes it clear that shoppers must beware of fakes – particularly via the web”, explains Gerald Jones MP

“The Charity found that 3 out of 5 fake electricals are purchased online, with a third of buyers experiencing major problems with the item. And with almost half of all domestic fires in UK homes caused by electricity, this is a risk you don’t want to take.”

Electrical Safety First also found that it’s not always easy for people to spot a counterfeit product. Three quarters of UK consumers were unable to identify Genuine GHD hair straighteners and 3 in 5 could not spot a fake Apple charger – and with the rise of online shopping, it can be even more difficult.  One in 5 online shoppers admitted they didn’t consider the authenticity of the product, with over half simply presuming that the electrical items for sale online were genuine.

And, of course, some people are deliberately buying fake products. One in 6 of those surveyed said they would consider buying a product – even if they suspected it was fake – if it was cheaper than the original.

Gerald Jones MP added:

“Fake goods are often cheaper because they omit key components which can affect both the safety and functionality of the product. To make sure you buy ‘the genuine article’, Electrical Safety First has developed advice to help people spot a fake electrical product. Visit: to find out more. I’m urging all my constituents to check this before they do their Christmas shopping.”


Spot the Fake Checklist:

Before you buy, check this list:


  1. Buy electrical products from reputable retailers, this way you can be assured you’re buying the real thing, some fake products can be hard to identify


  1. Check prices and shop around! Check online shops and if possible, visit the high street. If a bargain looks too good to be true, it probably is!


  1. Check voltage is 230-240V, 50Hz and that they are fitted with a three-pin UK plug or charger
  1. Look for the padlock symbol at the bottom of the screen when you are filling in your payment details.
  1. Beware glowing reviews, especially if the reviewers aren’t verified. Some sites cross-reference user reviews with their buyer database and label those people as “verified purchasers”
  1. Beware of words qualifying an item’s authenticity, if the seller claims the product is ‘genuine’, ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ double check the source. Most reputable retailers don’t need to sell their products like this.

  1. Look for the seller’s contact details on online marketplaces. Look for a full address and not just a PO Box number.

For websites, check the address – not all websites with a address are based in the UK

  1. Read product guarantees, terms and conditions, and returns policies before you buy

For more information on how to spot a fake, including after you’ve bought it, visit

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