Counterfeiting is not a seasonal crime. Yet the year-end holiday season seems to be a time when cautionary warnings about the dangers of buying counterfeit products are more prevalent. Like reminders to check batteries in a smoke detector when changing to daylight savings time, the holiday season seems an appropriate time to warn about safe practices. Just last week, US Customs in Newark, New Jersey seized 31,000 pieces of counterfeit holiday tree lighting that had arrived from China. In the United Kingdom, cautionary warnings about dangerous counterfeit electrical products such as fake Nintendo components and hair straighteners that have made their way into England this past year are issued so they don't make it into someone's gift box.
In the role of combatting counterfeit electrical products in the marketplace, NEMA and its member companies welcome the efforts of our channel partners, the National Association of Electrical Dealers (NAED) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) in publicizing the dangers of distributing and using counterfeit electrical products. This month, NAED and NECA jointly published a special supplement on the menace of counterfeit electrical products, and yesterday they unveiled a new Counterfeits Can Kill website. This is not the first time these organizations have publicized the issue to the electrical wholesale and electrical installation community.
A similar effort linking manufacturers, distributors and installers in the battle against counterfeit electrical products has been undertaken by BEAMA in the United Kingdom.
This type of cooperation is essential, and that is a central message of NEMA's video, Counterfeits Can Kill, released earlier this year, which anyone can access on the NEMA website, and is available to view in both English and Spanish.
Counterfeiting is both a supply and a demand problem. While manufacturers and law enforcement are active in taking steps to choke off the supply of counterfeits by pursuing both criminal and civil litigation, buyers who know to stay away from the dangerous fakes by purchasing from authorized and well-known supply sources can curtail the demand for these products. The Electrical Safety Foundation International has some useful tips on how to avoid purchasing dangerous counterfeit electrical goods.