WA stores selling dangerous USB chargers identified

Information status

All announcements issued prior to 1 July 2017 were issued by the former Department of Commerce. Announcements listed here are the latest versions available, but may be subject to review. For more information on this announcement, please contact online@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

The Commissioner for Consumer Protection has publicly released a list of 20 stores in WA which have been identified as selling dangerous unapproved USB plug-in chargers and adapters and warns their customers to carry out an urgent safety check.

Product safety and regional officers from Consumer Protection, under the supervision of EnergySafety, have completed a two-week extensive search for unapproved chargers being sold in WA. The search covered the Perth metropolitan area and regions around Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Geraldton and Karratha.

The blitz was launched after the tragic death of a NSW woman. She was electrocuted while using headphones plugged into her laptop and talking on her mobile phone when it was being charged using an unapproved 240V ac charger. There was a local case last month where a woman received an electric shock at her Naval Base workplace while using one of these unapproved chargers, a number of which closely resemble well-known brands.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said the joint operation involved officers checking 144 retail outlets in WA, removing unsafe devices from sale.

“A total of 20 traders have been found to be selling 25 unapproved and potentially deadly USB chargers and adapters, ranging in price from $5 to $25. At least 30 other questionable devices also have been given to EnergySafety for further investigation,” Ms Driscoll said.

“The reason for releasing the list of stores is to alert their customers who may have bought chargers or adapters recently so they can be aware and check the devices immediately to make sure they are approved and comply with Australian standards.

“The stores have cooperated by removing the devices identified from sale, but our major concern is that these potentially deadly USB chargers and adapters could be in use in WA homes and workplaces, posing a serious risk to consumers.

“While we are confident that we have inspected all likely retail outlets, there may be some stores that could still be selling these dangerous products that we are not aware of, and they could also be available for sale on the internet. All consumers who have bought these products in recent months are urged to check that their device has Australian approval markings, has insulated plug pins and is safe to use.”

The stores and products identified include:

Store

Location

Product

Red Finger

Thornlie Square Shopping Centre

USB Power Supply Charger

Creative House

Coventry Village Morley

International adapter All-in-one

Coventry Gifts and Gadgets

Coventry Village Morley

2 Port USB 2.1A charger

Creative House

Malaga Markets

2-port USB charger LED display

The Aussie Man Cave Toys and Gifts

Gosnells Railway Markets

Universal travel adapter

Mobitel

Coventry Village Morley

AC adapter KS-878

Tan Ly

Canning Vale Markets

Unmarked charger

Wotel Wangara

Wanneroo Markets

T3-1000 power adapter

Mobile Solution

Mirrabooka Shopping Centre

USB power adapter

Mobile Tech

Midland Gate Shopping Centre

Samsung Black Type

Mobile Tech

Warwick Grove Shopping Centre

USB 240V Adapter

1910294 4590

Accessories World

Kingsway Shopping Centre

Universal Adapter

Fix N Shop

Kiosk 6 The Shops Ellenbrook

USB charger adapter A1265

I Workshop

Perth Underground (top level)

Samsung charger

Doogues Lucky Lotteries

Murray Street Mall, Perth

Jama Lifestyle Universal Home and Car Charger

Haiou Phone Repairs

Midland Gate Shopping Centre

USB charger A1265

Phix Carousel

Carousel Shopping Centre

KMS-AC09

Mobile Tech

Ocean Keys Shopping Centre, Clarkson

4-ports USB charger

Mister Money

North Road Shopping Centre, Albany

Nokia

Entertainment Konnections

Paspaley Shopping Centre, Broome

Product identified

   

Director of EnergySafety Ken Bowron said consumers who have bought USB chargers and adapters from these outlets in recent months should check for Australian approval markings and, if unapproved, they should stop using, destroy and dispose of them immediately.

“Consumers should always buy a well-known reputable brand of charger or adapter that meets Australian standards. They should check that the plug pins are of an Australian configuration, are insulated at the base of the pins and have Australian approval markings,” Mr Bowron said.

“We also warn against using mobile devices while they are charging and advise not to leave them plugged in on charge overnight.

“Suppliers and retailers have an obligation to ensure that the electrical products they sell are compliant with Australian safety standards and there are serious consequences for businesses found selling unapproved devices, with a maximum penalty of $50,000 for an individual or $250,000 for a corporation.”

Unapproved chargers and adaptors should be destroyed and disposed of immediately. If they are found to be on sale, contact either Consumer Protection or EnergySafety.

Examples of approval markings and numbers can be found on the EnergySafety website: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/energysafety/electrical-appliance-approval-marks

Consumer tips:

  • Only buy electrical products with a recognised Australian safety approval mark or number.
  • Only buy from recognised Australian stores and not from online overseas suppliers.
  • Before purchasing chargers, check that the plug pins are of an Australian configuration, have been approved for use in Australia and are insulated for at least 50% of the pin length. 
  • Anyone in possession of unapproved 230V ac USB chargers purchased locally should contact us immediately. If you bought them overseas, destroy and dispose of them immediately. Do not use them. 
  • If you notice any unapproved chargers for sale, please call either Consumer Protection: 1300 30 40 54 or EnergySafety: 6251 1900.

Photos of some of these products appear below.

END OF RELEASE

Unapproved USB chargers 1
Unapproved USB chargers 1, by ggodsman

Unapproved USB charger found in WA

Example 1

 

Unapproved USB chargers 2
Unapproved USB chargers 2, by ggodsman

Unapproved USB charger found in WA

Example 2

 

Unapproved USB chargers 3
Unapproved USB chargers 3, by ggodsman

Unapproved USB charger found in WA

Example 3

Media Contact (EnergySafety or Consumer Protection).

Consumer Protection / EnergySafety
Media release
11 Jul 2014

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