WA stores selling dangerous USB chargers identified

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 Adapter1910294 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).

Building and Energy / Consumer Protection
Media release
11 Jul 2014

Share this page:

Last modified: