The Counterfeiters are Coming to Get You – PAT Mini-series Part 4

In celebration of the Seaward Substitution Scheme, which runs all through May, we’re continuing our special PAT mini-series. Each post focuses on a different aspect of the PAT testing industry. This fourth and final post in our series looks at counterfeiters and faulty appliances.

PAT testing infographic

350,000 Reasons Why PAT Testing Shouldnt Be Neglected


Despite the best efforts of the authorities, many counterfeit electrical appliances make it into the UK every year.

Many of these counterfeiters make their ‘fakes’ look so good that to the naked untrained eye, they look like the real thing but at a bargain price.

So, many unassuming members of the public buy these items without realising that they are in fact potentially dangerous fakes that could cause serious harm to themselves or their property.

However, now PAT testing equipment is finding a new role in this fight against these counterfeiters. With these ‘fakes’ looking so much like the real thing, it can be hard to see which is real and which is not but through the use of a PAT tester, counterfeit electrical appliances can more easily be identified.

It was reported that around 30 Million pounds’ worth of counterfeit electrical appliances entered the UK market back in 2010.

And these counterfeit appliances can include everything from domestic appliances, cables and leads, lighting products, power tools and wiring accessories.

However, the website Counterfeit Kills reported that 15 million counterfeit products have been destroyed between 2001 and 2013 and this figure increases every single month.

Despite reports that the problem with counterfeit goods has infiltrated almost all parts of the electrical appliance supply chain and the fact that even big brands such as Apple aren’t immune, there are still many people fighting the battle against these unsafe items of equipment.

One such body is Electrical Safety First, who have campaigned considerably to draw attention to the risks of counterfeit electrical products in this country. From this comes the message that while getting a cheaper deal is a good thing, if this turns out to be a fake appliance, it could be a dangerous bargain.

Through a simple and regular testing procedure on all portable appliances, businesses and companies can help stop these fakes from causing so much trouble to peoples lives.

However, alongside counterfeit goods, there is also an issue with some genuine products. These are faulty appliances that for whatever reason have been found to be dangerous or at risk of catching fire, so the manufacturer needs to recall them.

However, the product recall system doesn’t always work smoothly. There are issues with some people failing to register their appliances, some people moving and not updating details and some are just untraceable.

In general, the cases highlighted, where faulty appliances have caused damage or injury, have been domestic, but it is safe to assume that the widespread issue of faulty appliances could mean that there may be some of these items in businesses too.

This is where a routine PAT test on appliances in a business would highlight such an issue. Through using a PAT testing procedure to maintain electrical appliances, any faulty or fake equipment would show up immediately and fail a test.

Thus, preventing danger and damage to property, equipment and staff.

Have you come across any counterfeit or faulty appliances while PAT testing? Tag us on Twitter #seaward and let us know.

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