Counterfeit Apple iPhone chargers have been causing fires, electrocutions and burns and pose a “fatal fire” risk, the London Fire Brigade has warned.
The fire service claimed that fake iPhone chargers, which retail for as little as £1, are dangerous, having already caused a number of incidents, including Tottenham house fire in February.
A study into the devices by the fire service found that fake chargers most commonly weighed less than the official Apple charger’s 40 grams. Lower quality devices were also not flame retardant, meaning they pose a significant fire risk.
Meanwhile Apple chargers have 60 individual components to reduce fire risk whereas cheaper imitations naturally carried fewer of the safety features – if any.
Andrew Vaughan-Davies, a fire investigator, 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.
“Genuine chargers may cost more and you may think you are only paying for the brand name, but you’re actually buying peace of mind because you know the charger is going to be of better quality and specifically designed for your phone.
“For the sake of saving a few pounds is it worth putting the lives of your family at risk and taking the chance of potentially destroying your home?”
Vaughan-Davies added: “It is very difficult to see how the counterfeit models can be performing to the same standards as a genuine charger.”
As a result of the study, the London Fire Brigade has recommended that iPhone owners purchase new chargers from reputable vendors to ensure their own safety.
Earlier this year, Indesit and Hotpoint recalled dishwaters which had a fire-causing over-heating flaw.