Fake phone chargers and alarming Fire Hazards

counterfeit chargers cause fire hazards

It must be tempting to buy a charger from Chor Bazaar or Ameerpet if you’re from India. They’d just cost you 150/- bucks tops and often come without packaging. Well, these dupe chargers can potentially destroy your home! 

When Katie Vines from Bristol purchased a £5 iPhone charger from Amazon Marketplace, she had firsthand experience with this.

Fake charger blazes a kitchen

Katie Vines from Bristol reported fire in her kitchen and Devon & Somerset Fire service were sent to rescue. Later, a spokesperson from fire service said: “Three fire engines were sent to a property in Yeovil after a call to fire control saying there was a fire in the kitchen.When crews arrived at the property they confirmed there was a kitchen fire and they began putting it out. The fire involved a mobile phone charger. There was 10 per cent fire damage and 80 per cent smoke damage.”

Thankfully the incident caused no damage to human life. Yet, it stands as a warning for shoppers to buy chargers from reputable retailers.

Fire investigator Andrew Vaughan–Davies said: “I was shocked at how potentially dangerous these chargers are. There have been some near misses in the last few months and, unless people stop buying them, it’s only a matter of time before we are called to a fatal fire.”

Why buy the original?

Genuine chargers are pricey but that’s the cost you’ll have to pay for safety. You shall be assured that you aren’t putting anyone at risk. Devon & Somerset Fire service warned that fake chargers are often made with poor quality components that fail to meet UK safety regulations.

If a complex electronic device such as a phone charger is being sold at surprisingly cheap rates, chances are that it must have been made carelessly. With no regulatory environment or precautions taken, your phone charger is your next firecracker.

To mislead your phone into accepting uncontrolled electricity currents, counterfeit charger producers reverse-engineer and produce these copycat charging cables. 

Testing a variety of counterfeit iPhone chargers, Electrical Safety First (UK’s electrical safety experts), discovered that 98% of them could potentially start a fire or provide an electric shock.

The value of counterfeit items confiscated by authorities and the Border Control in the UK increased from just over £2.6 million in 2009 to more than £15.7 million in 2012. Unsurprisingly, fake phone chargers topped the charts as the most commonly confiscated items. Even if you wanted to buy a genuine charging cable, there are good chances are that you would end up buying a dupe. 

Unless you have an eye for details and a boundless patience it is very hard to spot a fake. The problem escalates when you want to buy it online because distinguishing counterfeit products on a virtual screen is nearly impossible.

Prevention is better than cure

Here are some precautionary measures to take with your phone charger:

  1. Avoid overcharging your product by disconnecting it from the charger as soon as it is fully charged and turning the charger off.
  2. Never cover your charger since it can cause heat to build up because chargers emit a little amount of heat.
  3.  If your charger is damaged or doesn’t seem to be functioning properly, dispose of it immediately.


Consumer awareness of spotting a fake charger or education of  precautionary measures can provide a certain level of protection to a brand. But it’s essential to acknowledge that this approach demands considerable effort and perseverance. As consumers, you have the right to make sure that brands are just as committed to safeguarding you by using trustworthy anti-counterfeit solutions.

Opting for anti-counterfeit technology within your supply chain offers a more streamlined and proactive strategy. This technology safeguards your brand effectively and simplifies the process by minimizing potential counterfeit threats before they escalate. 

You can ensure a promising defense to your customers against unauthorized cloning by integrating anti-counterfeit technology.


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