Fake iPhone chargers spark warnings over fire and shock risk

Ben Travis
Spot the difference: a warning has been issued over fake iPhone chargers: Electrical Safety First

A study by Electrical Safety First has sparked fresh concerns over fake and off-brand iPhone chargers.

In a test of 50 unofficial smartphone plugs, 49 were said to fail basic safety checks.

Nearly 50% of the tested chargers failed to pass an electric strength test, posing a strong risk of electric shock.

The counterfeit products were also deemed to have the potential to start fires.

“It is extremely concerning that 49 out of 50 UK chargers we tested failed basic safety checks,” said Martyn Allen, technical director at Electrical Safety First.

“This report shows that anyone purchasing an iPhone charger from an online marketplace or at an independent discount store is taking a serious risk with their safety.

“The majority of chargers we tested had the potential to deliver a lethal electrical shock or cause a fire. We’re urging people to take care when buying a charger and recommend buying directly from trusted retailers only.

“When you buy a fake, at best you could damage your phone but at worst you could be putting your life, your family and your home at risk.”

All 50 chargers were purchased from mainstream outlets including Amazon, eBay and high street shops.

iPhone chargers on the official Apple Store cost £19 for the plug adapter, and £19 for the USB to lightning port cable.

Electrical Safety First warns those purchasing iPhone chargers to look out for a high quality finish to indicate good build quality, and for a weight of at least 40g.