Australian’s are being warned about the dangers of cheap USB charger after Nurse Sheryl Anne Aldeguerdeath was found dead her bed with burns to her chest from a laptop and burns to her ears from her headphones. It is thought that a cheap USB charger (unapproved for sale in Australia) was responsible for the apparent electrocution.
Fair Trading have advised anyone to dispose of unapproved chargers, travel adaptors or power boards, and to bend the pins so that nobody else can use them. It is also advisable that people do not use devices whilst they are plugged in or charging. A 24 year old Chinese Flight attendant was killed last year by reportedly answering her mobile phone whilst it was plugged in to the charger. It is thought that this USB charger was approved.
The unapproved cheap USB chargers (along with any other unapproved appliances) are widely available in Australia. They can be found in discount stores, markets and even on eBay.
The biggest danger with the cheap USB chargers is that the lack of or minimal use of internal insulation. Approved USB chargers will have multiple layers of insulation but a fake one will have the bare minimum.
The biggest hint that you may be purchasing an unapproved charger is the cost. The cheap USB chargers are up to a third of the price of the genuine product. Another sign is the fact that the cheap USB chargers take much longer to charge the phone.
Do not be tempted by these fakes. Always buy your chargers from a reputed company or better still buy the charger that is made by the company that makes the phone.
Be aware that there are some very good counterfeits out there.Whiston Gordon on www.lifehacker.com shows the picture of the two IPhone chargers below. Apart from subtle differences in the text on the device they are identical.