Christmas has come early, with many households deciding to deck their homes and gardens with twinkling lights to brighten the mood following a tough year. However, Knowsley Council’s Trading Standards Team are urging residents to take extra care when buying electrical products, toys and festive lights.
In a difficult economic climate, money can be tight and it is tempting to try and grab a bargain however, many items sold online are fakes which can mean they’re low quality, unsafe and even have the potential to set alight or cause an electric shock.
Whether buying online, in-store or at a market tips are available to help you stay safe:
- Watch out for unfamiliar websites and carry out extra research prior to making an intended purchase, as well as checking online reviews to see if other buyers have had an issue with them;
- Particular areas of risk are online auction sites and social media platforms which are used to sell fake goods;
- In most cases, when buying online, consumers have the right to change their mind and return the product however, this may be difficult if the item does prove to be fake.
Make sure products are authentic. It is better to spend a bit more and buy from recognised retailers than waste money on poor quality items which could be dangerous;
From toys to electrical items, ensure products, have:
- A CE mark – this mark is a declaration by the manufacturer that the product satisfies essential safety requirements;
- Manufacturer details;
- A 3-pin plug;
- Any relevant warnings and instructions.
Common tell-tale signs of fakes are:
- Poor quality packaging;
- Mis-spelled words;
- No safety marks.
- However, sometimes the external packaging can be coped well but the internal components are botched and potentially dangerous.
Check for product recalls.
Some products are recalled when they pose a safety risk to consumers.
Anyone who has concerns about a toy or electrical item they have purchased or seen on sale can contact Knowsley Council’s Trading Standards Team by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.