Many of us buy USB chargers that we are drawn to simply because they are cheaper. However, we may not realise that these cheap chargers could actually put us at risk of electrical shocks and even fire, as well as most likely causing damage to our phones and tablets. Genuine iPhone chargers retail at around £15 but you can pick up a copy for a few pounds but how sure are you that these chargers are genuine and not dangerous? Many replica chargers have less than half the required components to make them safe, but how can you check?
Pins - There should be at less 9.5mm between the edge of the pin and the edge of the casing. Otherwise there is a risk of electrical shock when plugging in and unplugging the charger.
Markings - Safety mark, this should be between the bottom pins on the underside of the charger. Check the markings for spelling errors, CE marking and also brand names and logos.
USB socket - On counterfeit chargers it is possible that the USB socket is upside down or in a different place. A genuine charger will have a serial number at the back of the USB port too.
Materials - Counterfeit plug chargers are usually weaker than required due to metal coated, hollow plastic pins instead of metal. Tap the pins and see how they sound.
Weight - A genuine charger should weigh at least 40g, counterfeit chargers contain less of the higher quality components required for safety, hence them weighing less.
Shape & Dimensions - The pins make look or feel different to a genuine charger, they may be larger or smaller and this may affect how they plug into a socket. It’s also possible for them to be positioned differently.
(Source: OE Electrics)
Make sure you check before you buy, stay safe and keep your devices working for longer!