Concerns around Covid-19 have led to many of us to shop online this Christmas instead of visiting the High Street. Consumer safety charity Electrical Safety First carried out some research for Electrical Fire Safety Week, which shows that millions more than ever before will turn to online marketplaces for what they see as ‘safer’ Christmas shopping.
But the Charity is warning shoppers that they could be swapping one safety risk for another. Multiple investigations by Electrical Safety First have found dangerous electrical products, which present a serious fire risk, can easily be bought from third party sellers via online marketplaces.
Now West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper, as part of their support for Electrical Safety First, is helping the Charity raise awareness of this risk in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. She said:
“Electrical Safety First’s research has shown that 57% of those in the North West are planning to use online marketplaces for their shopping this Christmas, with 46% saying they’ll be using them more than usual.
“This is essentially because people believe these websites are a safer way of shopping than going to the High Street during the pandemic, and due to so many shops having been shut through lockdown restrictions.”
But this confidence is not supported by the Charity’s investigations, which have repeatedly found unsafe electricals for sale online, including on Amazon Marketplace, eBay and Wish.com.
Electrical Safety First’s research indicates that 22% of shoppers in the North West are planning to buy an electrical item as a gift this Christmas – higher than the national average of 20%. Yet Electrical Safety First has previously found that in the UK three out of five fake electricals are purchased online1, with a third of buyers experiencing major problems with the item.
Rosie Cooper MP added:
“So I’m joining with Electrical Safety First to urge my West Lancashire constituents to reduce their chances of buying dangerous electricals by sticking to the stores or websites of known manufacturers and retailers and to beware of buying from third party sellers on these platforms.
“We all love a bargain and Christmas is always expensive! But with almost half of all domestic fires in UK homes caused by electricity – and most arising from electrical products – this is a risk you don’t want to take.”