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Old 17th November 2011, 11:38 AM   #1
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Default Counterfeit Electrical Safety Marks on Chinese Goods

I've been aware of possible issues with counterfeit electrical safety marks on low-cost manufacturing market imports in general for a few years; my first "heads-up" involved some simple lamps imported to Canada a few years ago that were sold in the tens of thousands.

I subscribe to the Canadian government recall and safety warnings via eMail; the US has a similar service available and I would not be surprised to learn the UK, Australia, the EU, etc have similar services available. It's kind of "wordy" in that you can expect an eMail every day. Whether it's worth it to you or not to get that volume of mail is up to you; all I would say is for DIY'ers and parents it's probably worth it, since kids toys and electrical products are commonly cited (food recalls are also common, but are generally well reported in the media).

There are a huge number of products in the market, and it's not reasonable to expect everything to be on the regulatory radar constantly ... nobody has that much time or money.

In the last week there have been warnings of counterfeit UL-Canada (also applies to the UL-US certification) marks and items that pose a shock hazard due to faulty wiring. I found it notable in that it seems a change in focus ... for the last three years or so there were at least daily recalls of Children's toys ... so possibly it reflects a new emphasis in the regulatory radar.

With regard to UL-Canada, UL-US, CSA-Canada and CSA-US marks, t's my understanding that you can check the certification number on the sticker attached to the product against a database to see which product was certified, or if the number is simply made up and refers to nothing at all. I will try to look into this further in the next day or so, anyone with specific information is invited to chime in here.

Also, it's obvious that no matter what product you are using, to practice and perhaps teach your family to practice good electrical safety practices, rather than rely simply on the standard safety wiring methods to keep you safe. Back in High School a very good friend of mine died using an electrical drill in his garage with a wet concrete floor.

Be safe, everyone. Again, anyone with good familiarity with best practices should wiring be faulty is welcome to chime in ... although I think I'm reasonably informed on that, I'd rather leave it to someone with formal education and experience in case I inadvertently lead someone astray.

Here are the more recent recalls involving electrical issues:
AC Voltage Meter:
Consumer Product Recalls - Consumer Product Safety

Cellphone battery chargers:
Consumer Product Recalls - Consumer Product Safety

NiMH battery charger (a hobby item potentially considered by Class-D DIY'ers)
Consumer Product Recalls - Consumer Product Safety

Counterfeit CSA safety marks on Xmas decorations:
Consumer Product Recalls - Consumer Product Safety

Counterfeit UL safety mark on CFL bulbs:
Consumer Product Recalls - Consumer Product Safety

Counterfeit CSA safety mark on electric bicycle battery charger:
Consumer Product Recalls - Consumer Product Safety

Mods: I placed this in the Class-D thread because of the one particular battery/charger listed that potentially could be considered by someone interested in a portable chip amp build, but if there's a more appropriate forum feel free to move it.
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Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 17th November 2011 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 19th November 2011, 01:38 AM   #2
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In the UK you can self certificate for EMC.
But if something goes wrong you have to show you took due diligence in the design.
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