TRADING STANDARDS chiefs have warned Scots to beware of fake phone chargers which can explode.
Officers say two of the chargers have been bought in the north east, with one “blowing up in a puff of white smoke” in Banff.
Users are now being asked to check any non-branded phone chargers they own which could belong to the faulty series.
A spokesman for Trading Standards said: “One of these chargers was bought in Banff and when it was plugged into the device there was a white flash, loud bang and the back of the charger blew off.
“The charger is a USB type and has the serial number A1299. If this model is found, stop using it immediately and return it to the retailer.”
An officer said that the faulty charger has been removed by Trading Standards for further investigation.
There has been an increase in the number of incidents being reported about faulty electrical goods, particularly fake, cheap or unbranded chargers across the Scotland.
Research by campaigning charity Electrical Safety First shows that product misuse is the top cause of accidental fires in British homes and the number has increased by more than a third since 2009.
Emma Apter, from Electrical Safety First, said: “We understand that people purchase cheap, unofficial chargers in order to make a short-term saving but the costs can be so much greater in the long run.
“These chargers have the potential to cause electrocution, burns and even house fires so you have to ask whether it is worth the risk just to save a few pounds.
“Lives are at stake so the message is clear, buy a genuine charger from a reputable retailer in order to minimise the risk to you and your loved ones”.
Aberdeenshire councillor Geva Blackett said: “It’s a pretty scary situation when phone chargers are exploding in people’s homes.
“I would urge anyone buying a phone charger to buy it from a proper licensed retailer and not to take the chance.
“You maybe save a few quid in the short-term but if you start a fire then it’s really not much of a saving in the long-term.
“Any consumer with concerns about a charger should call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.”