Xmas treeBedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service are alerting people about the dangers of buying cheap electrical goods online in the run up to Christmas this year.

During Fire Kills’ Electrical Fire Safety Week (9 – 15 November) the BFRS wants people to be aware of the dangers of fake electrical goods and chargers after a number of home fires caused by electrical goods this year.

According to Electrical Safety First the number of counterfeit and sub-standard electrical goods sold online has increased considerably in recent years with the most common fakes being for popular and sought-after items.

The number of fake mobile phones seized has risen by more than 50% with other top electrical fakes including hair straighteners, e.cigarette chargers and games. Equally, 1 in 4 people has knowingly bough a counterfeit good despite their increased risks.

Pete Buckingham, Community Safety Team Manager, said: “With Christmas coming everyone is looking for a bargain to make their money go further. But if a deal looks like it’s too good to be true, then it probably is not only too good to be true but could actually be dangerous and life-threatening to you and your family.

“More people now shop online which increases the opportunities for rough traders to sell you fake products. Our advice is to stick to reputable retailers both on the High Street and online and have a look at Electrical Safety First’s online Safe Shopper’s Guide for advice on shopping safely online."

Fake goods often contain faulty parts that can cause products to overheat and catch fire. With products left charging overnight or on beds, and sometimes under pillows, a small spark can cause a major fire within minutes.

Download the Safe Shopper’s Guide at: http://bit.ly/1qWc2re