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Beware cheap imported goods, warns BASEC


The proliferation of cheap imported electrical items being sold in the UK poses an increased electrical safety threat at this time of year, warns the British Approvals Service for Cables.

Many of these items bought in markets or bargain shops and stores are of inferior quality and BASEC is issuing the alert in the hope of preventing electric shock, injury or fire.  A common fault seen is undersized cable which may overheat.

Dr Jeremy Hodge, Chief Executive of BASEC, said: "There is little or no control over goods such as Christmas tree lights and other electrical goods. Often these products don't comply with the requirements of the Low Voltage Directive and even where they have the CE mark on them, it doesn't really mean much because they can still be dangerous.

"Authorities around Europe have already been notified of several faulty products which were manufactured and sold especially for Christmas.

 "The sheer volume makes it difficult for the authorities to monitor, but we need to do all we can – someone could be killed or there could be a serious fire because of one of these products."

On the issue of safety, BASEC also offers a warning to businesses and homeowners to check the state of their electrical wiring if they are significantly adding new devices to their circuits as part of the seasonal celebrations.

Dr Hodge added: "We are advising caution where there may be additional wiring and gadgets added to existing circuits.

"We also advise that devices and networks are turned off at the end of each day, especially if businesses are shutting down or people are going away for a few days or longer during the break. It would be an unnecessary waste of energy and it could be dangerous for them to be left on stand-by."

By detailed examination of manufacturers' production processes and controls, and rigorous testing, BASEC ensures that cable products meet appropriate national, European and international standards.


For further press information contact:

Paul Tustin, Acumen Public Relations

Tel: 01704 885555

Editor's Notes:

BASEC is the recognised leader in product certification services for electrical cables, data/signal cables and ancillary products. Through its teams of highly skilled engineers and auditors who possess extensive in-depth commercial and industrial experience, BASEC has a reputation for professional and rigorous assessment processes which ultimately lead to the issuing of BASEC's highly respected certification.

In addition, BASEC offers auditing for Process Capability in cable making, Certificates of Assessed Design for innovative cable products and independent testing and reporting in the event of disputes.

British Approvals Service for Cables,

23 Presley Way,


Milton Keynes,

MK8 0ES.

Tel: 01908 267300

Fax: 01908 267255

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