Most smartphone owners purchase their chargers online, many admitting to purchasing them on third-party marketplaces such as Amazon as their prices are far lower than the price of a charger direct from the manufacturer, such as Apple or Samsung. Bundle this with Apple’s claim that 90% of Apple chargers purchased on Amazon are counterfeit and we realize we can’t actually be certain of where our chargers were made and what, if any, safety requirements are being fulfilled.
Studies on the Safety of Counterfeit and Generic chargers
Surprisingly, there have only been two studies performed on the safety of counterfeit or generic chargers, but the two independent studies show shocking and very similar results. A UL study out of Canada tested 400 counterfeit chargers. Safety tests revealed 99% of the 400 chargers studied failed basic safety tests. Of these 400, 3 chargers passed, 22 chargers leaked current, and 12 had the capacity to cause electrocution. A smaller study out of the UK showed similar numbers with a 98% fail. Safety regulations require sufficient insulation of the wires within the charger in order to prevent current flow to an unintended source, overheating, or other forms of malfunction.
99% of the 400 chargers studied failed basic safety tests. Of these 400, 3 chargers passed, 22 chargers leaked current and 12 had the capacity to cause electrocution.UL Study on Charger Safety
And it’s not only counterfeit chargers whose safety we need to be concerned about. Generic chargers are also often in the media, most recently Hey Day chargers were pulled off the shelves of Target for 14 safety incidents. The connector lead of their pretty USB chargers were overheating and burning holes in carpets/furniture/pillows. Branded chargers have even gone so far as to cover themselves for potential litigation. Apple now has a section in their website that advises against the connector lead of a plugged-in USB charger coming in contact with skin for an extended period of time, and suggest against placement of the connector in moist environments (like a child’s mouth!). In summary: USB charger hazards are omnipotent to USB chargers, though the risk vastly increases as brand reliability decreases.
Charger Use is Only Increasing
In today’s world, people are more dependent on their personal electronic devices, especially with Work From Home. They ask more out of their devices, and therefore out of their chargers. And so, these hazardous chargers remain ubiquitous in the home, left plugged-in between frequent charging for added convenience.
In my conversations with UL and the CCCA, it is clear that they are aware of the safety hazard of these USB chargers. While they continue to advocate for tighter measures on consumer safety, we at Geddy’s Mom continue to push for more educated measures when it comes to home safety and protecting your family.
From our perspective it’s simple. We can’t see inside your charger. So either unplug it between charges, or cover it with the only thing out there that was created to do so, a WATCH YOUR MOUTH device by Geddy’s Mom.
Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.