Trademark counterfeiting has reached the electrical sector. Counterfeiters have targeted well-known industrial and consumer brands, and registered certification marks of testing and certification laboratories.“Counterfeit electrical products can pose significant safety hazards and left undetected, can cause deaths, injuries and substantial property loss in the home and the workplace,” notes Brett Brenner, President of the Electrical Safety Foundation International. The electrical products targeted by counterfeiters apply to those used by both consumers and industry. The list includes control relays for industrial equipment, lamps, electronic lamp ballasts, dry cell batteries, lithium ion batteries, smoke detectors, fuses, circuit breakers, electrical receptacles, ground fault circuit interrupters, conduit fittings, power strips and surge suppressors, electrical cordsets (extension cords), power cords, telecommunications cable, and electrical connectors.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid purchasing counterfeit goods

* Only purchase electrical products directly from the manufacturer, a reputable distributor or retailer

* Buyers should beware of bargains that seem too good to be true. Products may be cheap because they are counterfeit or defective.

* Check the warning label. It should be free of grammatical errors and not conflict with information elsewhere on the package.

* Look for the name and contact information of the manufacturer.

* Avoid no-name products or products sold at “bargain centers.”


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