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  • A recent survey shows that 30% of electronics bought in the UK are counterfeit and unsafe.
  • People seem to ignore the dangers of fake Kodi boxes that can heat up to the point of catching fire.
  • Buyers need to be more careful by thoroughly checking the certifications of the products and be skeptical when buying from non-reputable sellers.

A new campaign launched by London’s PIPCU (Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit) and citing a report by ‘Electrical Safety First’ warns that about 30% of UK’s consumers are tricked to buying non-genuine electronics that have the potential to become dangerous during operation.

As these counterfeit products are using low-quality materials and taking no consideration of electric protection standards of any kind, they can pose a severe fire or electrocution danger. As expected, the worst of them in this regard are items that use electricity to heat up their functional elements. For example, hair dryers, electric kettles, and hair straighteners made by doubtful manufacturers are prone to causing electric shocks or starting a fire.

Another popular item that is known to cause fire-starting trouble is counterfeit Kodi boxes. The CPU inside these TV boxes can get really hot during operation, and with no heat dissipation incorporated in the cheap design, you can expect serious issues. PIPCU makes a special mention on fake Kodi boxes in their report, as people seem to keep on buying these inexpensive media streamers everywhere (from Facebook to pubs). As Teresa Russel, PIPCU’s Detective Chief Inspector puts it: “We are empowering people to take action and accept nothing less than a safe electrical item. A counterfeit may be cheaper but peace of mind and safety are so important. Consumer safety is at the heart of our work.”

Now, that is not to say that all electronics that come from China were explicitly designed to catching fire, nor does it mean that obscure brands can’t be reliable. If you find a good bargain this Christmas shopping season, ensure that it comes with the associated certifications that denote a high-quality and safe product. For example, a RoHS certification indicates that the product complies with the toxic substance composition directive, while the CCC (China Compulsory Certificate) mark assures that the product’s electric circuits have been inspected and deemed safe by the Chinese certification center labs.

What are you planning to buy this holiday season? Would you be willing to risk your health and safety for the purpose of saving a couple of bucks? Let us know in the comments section or enter our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter to join the discussions there.