When pur­chas­ing elec­tri­cal prod­ucts

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

A grow­ing num­ber of harm­ful coun­ter­feit elec­tri­cal prod­ucts in Canada are rais­ing con­cerns about con­sumer safety. Th­ese prod­ucts by-pass the qual­ity con­trols that en­sure rel­e­vant safety stan­dards are met to pro­tect against elec­tri­cal shock and fire hazards. The num­ber of harm­ful coun­ter­feit elec­tri­cal prod­ucts rep­re­sented 12% of prod­ucts seized last year. Th­ese can in­clude elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances, elec­tron­ics and ca­bles, charg­ers and adapters, ex­ten­sion cords and power­bars, lamps and bal­lasts, smoke de­tec­tors, and elec­tri­cal com­po­nents like cir­cuit break­ers, fuses, re­cep­ta­cles, ground fault cir­cuit in­ter­rupters and con­duit fit­tings. Us­ing coun­ter­feit elec­tri­cal com­po­nents for home ren­o­va­tions can be es­pe­cially dan­ger­ous. If in­stalled in a home’s elec­tri­cal sys­tem, th­ese can ad­vance elec­tri­cal fire con­cerns from po­ten­tial short cir­cuits and over­heat­ing.

Fol­low th­ese ba­sic steps to be­ware and to buy safe:

Re­search elec­tri­cal prod­ucts to con­firm there are no pub­lished re­calls.

Buy from es­tab­lished re­tail­ers or ven­dors, and use ex­tra cau­tion when buy­ing sec­ond hand or on-line.

Know the man­u­fac­turer or brand, and en­sure the prod­uct qual­ity and ap­pear­ance are sat­is­fac­tory.

Look for a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion mark on the pack­ag­ing, and en­sure that man­u­fac­turer and prod­uct in­for­ma­tion is free of spelling and gram­mat­i­cal er­rors.

If it is too good to be true, it prob­a­bly is. If you have safety con­cerns re­gard­ing an elec­tri­cal prod­uct that you be­lieve is un­safe stop us­ing it and con­tact the man­u­fac­turer or re­tailer where you pur­chased the prod­uct, or Health Canada’s Con­sumer Prod­uct Safety Di­vi­sion. The Elec­tri­cal Safety Foun­da­tion In­ter­na­tional Canada en­cour­ages you to share th­ese con­sumer safety steps to pro­tect fam­ily, friends and neigh­bours. More in­for­ma­tion can be found online at www.esfi.ca.

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