We spoke to Mark Coles, Technical Regulation Manager from the Institution of Engineering and Technology to find out how the public can recognise counterfeit plugs at home.
Q: How can somebody at home recognise a counterfeit plug?
“In some cases, it is almost impossible to recognise counterfeit products from a visual inspection. In all cases, buy plugs – and by plugs we mean three-pin, 13 A, manufactured to BS 1363 – from reputable sellers.”
Q: What advice do you have for anyone who may have purchased a counterfeit plug?
“Firstly, take it back to the seller and ask for a refund. Beyond that, Trading Standards should be contacted.”
Q: Why is it important that people don’t continue to use counterfeit plugs?
“The plug may look identical to all others but, for example, it may not stand up to the usual wear and tear a genuine plug is designed to cope with or it may not handle the electrical loading an appliance may demand.”
Q: Why do companies sell counterfeit plugs?
“Counterfeit plugs, rather like any counterfeit product, is manufactured very cheaply and, subsequently, sold for profit.”
Q: Is there anything else we can do?
“Always check plugs, in addition to the flexible cable and the appliance, before plugging into the socket-outlet.