The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) recently surveyed over 900 electrical inspectors, contractors, distributors, and manufacturers to learn about the counterfeiting issue in the electrical industry. The result was over half of the inspectors surveyed have discovered a counterfeit product.
The most common counterfeit products they found were lights and breakers. Because they are often not manufactured to the same standards as originals, knock-offs can overheat or short out, increasing the risk of electrical shock or fire.
Buying connected devices from disreputable manufacturers can also put your privacy at risk. A third of websites hosting pirated or counterfeit goods contain malware according to the office of U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. Plugging in a security camera, smart toy or other device from an unknown manufacturer may put your family’s privacy and security at risk.
Counterfeit electronics are often unknowingly used in manufacturing of everything from household products to commercial and military components. They have even been found on Air Force One!
How to Avoid Counterfeit Electrical Products
Because they’re not always easy to spot, it’s important to purchase electrical products from reputable retailers and follow these tips:
- Read packaging and labels. Text should be free of grammatical errors and should not contain conflicting information.
- Packaging should contain the name and contact information of the manufacturer.
- Avoid unknown brands and products that do not display any brand affiliation.
- Look for industry certification, such as the UL label.
Be alert. Organizations such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), CSA Group, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) provide information about product recalls, including those related to counterfeiting, on their websites.
Purchasing products from a reputable company like Clover Electric will ensure your security and safety.
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