Catholic MP Maria Caulfield has raised awareness of fake electrical goods for sale online as more shoppers turn online for their Christmas shopping.
Concerns around Covid-19 have led to many people deciding to carry out their Christmas shopping online this year instead of visiting the High Street. Research carried out by consumer safety charity Electrical Safety First to mark the recently observed Electrical Fire Safety Week, which ran from 23rd to 29th November, found that millions more than ever before will turn to online marketplaces for what they see as ‘safer’ Christmas shopping.
However, the charity is warning shoppers that they could be swapping one safety risk for another as multiple investigations by Electrical Safety First have found dangerous electrical products, which present a serious fire risk, can easily be bought from third party sellers via online marketplaces.
Ms Caulfield, is now supporting the charity in raising awareness of this risk in the run up to the Christmas shopping period.
“Electrical Safety First’s research has shown that 63 per cent of those in the South East are planning to use online marketplaces for their shopping this Christmas, with 49 per cent saying they’ll be using them more than usual”, the MP for Lewes said. “This is essentially because people believe these websites are a safer way of shopping than going to the High Street during the pandemic.
“But this confidence is not supported by the charity’s investigations, which have repeatedly found unsafe electricals for sale online, including on Amazon Marketplace, eBay and Wish.com. Electrical Safety First’s research indicates that 15 per cent of shoppers in South East are planning to buy an electrical item as a gift this Christmas – yet it has previously found that in the UK three out of five fake electricals are purchased online, with a third of buyers experiencing major problems with the item.”
Ms Caulfield said she was joining Electrical Safety First to urge the public to reduce their chances of buying dangerous electricals by sticking to the stores or websites of known manufacturers and retailers and to beware of buying from third party sellers on these platforms.
“We all love a bargain and Christmas is always expensive! But with almost half of all domestic fires in UK homes caused by electricity – and most arising from electrical products – this is a risk you don’t want to take.”
Picture: A woman wearing a Christmas jumper does her Christmas shopping online. (Kerkez).