Your average mobile phone charger may seem innocuous enough at first sight, but actually it is worth taking a hard look at them, as many can be illegal and even dangerous.
As part of its program ‘Kontant’, national broadcaster DR checked 11 samples in random Danish shops and webshops and found that nine had erroneously been given the CE certification mark of health and safety standards and five were downright dangerous as they could cause fires or electrocution.
In addition to this, the Sikkerhedsstyrelsen safety technology authority has randomly tested 25 chargers annually over the past three years and found that 40 percent were dangerous and needed to be recalled.
“Producers and importers have a massive problem in regards to adhering to the rules. The error rates are so high that consumers can’t be sure they are safe,” Jan Møller Mikkelsen, the deputy head of Sikkerhedsstyrelsen, told DR Nyheder.
Charging up a hazard
Sikkerhedsstyrelsen indicates that it has found 350 different chargers on the Danish market and upwards of 150 are considered dangerous to consumers.
But while the authority has the power to report importers and distributors of dangerous chargers to the police, not a single fine has been handed out.
“No fines have been handed out to my knowledge, and there are potentially loads of dangerous chargers out there,” said Mikkelsen, who contends that it is up to the politicians to decide whether other forms of punishment should be introduced to tackle the problem.
According to an Epinion survey conducted on behalf of DR, 7 percent of the Danish population has experienced a charger for a computer, tablet or mobile phone short-circuiting. Of these, 25 percent experienced a charger that begun to smoke, and 9 percent had a charger that burst into flames.
The tested chargers that failed came from the shops Kvickly, Normal, THansen, Mackabler.dk, BlueCity, Sparkøb, Power, AV-cables and AVxperten. Only two passed the test and they were from Bilka and Batteribyen.dk