Friday 9 December 2022

Don’t Be Electricked - help stop the sale of dangerous electricals on online marketplaces


This post was written in collaboration with Electrical Safety First, a charity organisation that aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by electricity in UK homes, to highlight their #DontBeElectricked campaign. The campaign is petitioning the safety of electrical items bought online and  aims to help raise awareness of the dangers of buying fake electrical products online. Please sign their petition here.

In the run up to Christmas purchases of electrical items soars, we buy new light up Christmas decorations and plug-in wax burners to make our homes cosy and festive, and buy electrical items as gifts such as hair straighteners, gaming consoles and fancy coffee machines. Combine that with the popularity of online shopping and a need to watch every penny and get a bargain, most people buy their electrical items online, often searching for the cheapest price on online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Wish to get a great bargain. 

Unfortunately what we think is a bargain electrical item might be a dangerous product that risks our home and life. Best case scenario they just don’t work, worst case scenario they could be deadly dangerous.

In the UK, online marketplace such as Amazon, eBay and Wish are not bound to the same laws as traditional retailers. Sadly this means that fake and dangerous electrical products are rife on those sites and are being sold to customers who do not know they are counterfeit, unsafe and potentially life threatening. As these electrical items often do not meet safety standards and regulations, containing sub-standard or counterfeit parts, they present a serious risk of fire or electric shock.

Disappointedly, I have to admit I have personal experience of being stung by trying to save money and buying what I thought was a genuine and safe electrical item online on a marketplace, which turned out to be the complete opposite. I bought a cordless vacuum cleaner that overheated when charging and started smoking, sparking a fire, which thankfully we managed to put out asap as we were home and the fire alarms were set off. That experience was enough to make me extremely wary of buying electrical items online. 

Having had personal experience of a dangerous electrical item bought on an online marketplace, I am backing Electrical Safety First’s campaign to stop the sale of dangerous electricals on online marketplaces.

To support this campaign I am also sharing tips on how to shop safely online when buying electrical items.

* Don’t trust that the image displayed on the advert is a true representation of what you will receive.

* Look at the seller’s contact details and be wary if there aren’t any. Many fake electrical products are made and supplied from overseas where they will not be safety tested.

* Don’t rely on reviews, they can easily be faked.

* If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! 

* Stay safe whilst you shop online with “Check it Out”, Electrical Safety First’s Google Chrome extension. The extension helps you make sure you know who you are buying from. A lot of the products for sale on marketplaces are sold by unregulated, third-party sellers. When you’re shopping on Amazon or eBay, the free Chrome plug-in will let you know when you are not buying directly from a manufacturer or retailer that you trust. Download it here.

Watch the video below to find out more about the #DontBeElectriked campaign. 

Please sign the petition to demand action against the unlawful sale of dangerous electricals. The petition will help the charity Electrical Safety First change the law so that online marketplaces will have to - 

* follow the same safety regulations as other UK retailers

* make sure that electrical goods offered for sale on their sites by third party sellers are safe for use in the UK

* ensure that any electrical products reported as unsafe must be removed from the site within 24 hours

You can follow Electrical Safety First over on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and take a look at the website too.


  1. Oh boy, I always try to remember to be careful with electric. We take it for granted but it could be a hazard.

  2. Ohh wow....thanks for sharing this important awareness & messaging here, it's so important to avoid another home accident. It's always important to have safe electrical items. Cheers Siennylovesdrawing