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Safety experts have urged the public in Renfrewshire to be on their guard for fake goods and electronic chargers following purchases made at Christmas or in the New Year sales.

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Trading Standards & Licensing officers at Renfrewshire Council warned the public to be prepared for fake goods breaking or not working and to exercise caution when using unfamiliar devices or toys. Problems with loose parts, plugs or cabling can pose a danger to consumers and potentially damage property.

Consumer complaints usually peak in the New Year period from disappointed families due to gifts and bargains that have been bought over the festive period malfunctioning or not living up to expectations.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board said:

“Unfortunately, goods that are below safety standards will always make their way into circulation and can be cleverly disguised to look just like the real thing. You might think you are getting a great bargain but many of these items will fail very basic safety tests.

“Make sure to buy from reputable shops, be wary of products that seem drastically cheaper than they should be and look at the packaging for the distributor’s details and a CE mark. We ask people to remember the 4 Ps – Product, Price, Place and Packaging”

Of great concern to the Trading Standards & Licensing team at this time of year is counterfeit mobile phone chargers. They warn the use of even genuine, high-quality electrical devices can be dangerous if they are powered by fake chargers or plugs.

Councillor McEwan added: “As well as shoddy charging devices, fires caused by people using chargers which are incompatible with the products they are connected to is a risk we are highlighting in 2018.

“It’s vitally important to use the correct type of charger for your product otherwise your device could over-charge or pose a risk of electric shock. “

For further advice on goods you have purchased, you can call the Trading Standards & Licensing team on 0300 300 0380 or send an e-mail to ts.es@renfrewshire.gov.uk