‘Killer’ fake iPhone chargers: London fire experts warn of counterfeits ahead of Apple’s iPhone 6 launch

Fake iPhone chargers costing as little as 99p could put people’s lives at risks by causing electrocutions, burns or even serious house fires, according to London fire experts.

Apple is releasing the iPhone 6 tomorrow and a high number of fake chargers are expected to flood the market – London Fire Service is now urging users to avoid dodgy devices and purchase genuine accessories.

Fire investigator Andrew Vaughan-Davies explained that the brigade had had to tackle a number of fires started by imitation charges.

He said: “I was shocked at how potentially dangerous these chargers are.

“There have been some near misses in the last few months and, unless people stop buying them, it’s only a matter of time before we are called to a fatal fire.

“Genuine chargers may cost more and you may think you are only paying for the brand name, but you’re actually buying peace of mind because you know the charger is going to be of better quality and specifically designed for your phone.

“For the sake of saving a few pounds is it worth putting the lives of your family at risk and taking the chance of potentially destroying your home?”

The two genuine Apple iPhone chargers analysed by investigators had 60 or more components in their circuitry while the sub-standard chargers had, on average, fewer than half that number.

Mr Vaughan-Davies added: “It is very difficult to see how the counterfeit models can be performing to the same standards as a genuine charger.”

In addition to them being fire hazards, fake chargers can also cause damage to the phone being charged.

How to spot a counterfeit iPhone charger

Investigators noticed a number of ‘tell-tale’ signs that gave the fake Apple iPhone chargers away.

  • The finish on the plug pins on genuine chargers was found to be matt and uniform, but on the counterfeit chargers the finish was found to be shiny and the pins irregularly angular.
  • The position of the USB sockets on the dodgy chargers was often found to be upside down when compared to the real product.
  • Genuine chargers were found to weigh over 40 grams, but the imitations tested were always found to weigh less.
  • The printed text on the faceplate was found to be a darker shade on the sub-standard chargers and the casing on the majority of counterfeit chargers tested was found not to be flame retardant.


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