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Public warned of faulty mobile phone chargers

In tests on 15 cheap, unbranded replacement mobile phone chargers, 14 failed UK safety standards and posed a risk of fire or electric shock.

Mobile phone users are being warned not to buy unbranded and unmarked replacement chargers over the internet, or from shops or market stalls following the Government-funded tests on a sample, mostly originating from China.


The faults identified included unsuitable electrical insulation and inadequately sized pins, some of which were too thick and risked overheating or arching within the socket, which can cause fire or electric shock. In addition, some of the faulty chargers were poorly constructed, with their internal connections and casings not securely held in position, posing a further risk of fire or shock.


Lambeth Council Trading Standards and the Electrical Safety Council carried out the tests on eight main brand chargers and the 15 unbranded devices. None cost more than £7 each and they were found online or in shops and markets in south London. All the main brand chargers met the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994.


Consumers are being encouraged to buy only properly packaged replacement chargers marked with the manufacturer’s brand and batch number, which also provide instructions and the manufacturer’s or importer’s address.