The NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland) is advising Christmas shoppers to always check for the CE Mark when buying electrical products or toys this festive season.
Between 2005 and 2014, there have been 326 fatal fires in Ireland, claiming the lives of 366 people. In the 158 instances where the cause of the fire was known, electrical appliances were suspected in 28 fatal fires ( 18% of cases) while a further 3 per cent of fatal fires were attributed to electric blankets. In 2011 alone, 241 fires in Ireland were caused by electrical equipment.
“From Christmas fairy lights, to tablets or mobile phones; electrical products make up the majority of our Christmas shopping lists and therefore it’s vital you ensure what you are buying is safe and complies with safety standards” said CEO of the NSAI, Maurice Buckley.
“By law, all toys and electrical products for sale in Ireland must display the CE safety mark. The CE mark is the manufacturer’s declaration that the product complies with safety standards and it must be visible on the product itself or on its packaging. If it doesn’t have the CE mark, don’t buy it,” Buckley added.
Under Irish and European law, toys must also display the CE mark, demonstrating that the product has undergone safety testing in the design and manufacture process and that it complies with the Irish and European standards. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has recalled 11 children’s toys and ten electrical products have been removed from the Irish market so far this year over safety concerns.
“Most of the products and services we encounter every day are governed by standards. But unfortunately, due to counterfeiting or the misuse of the CE Mark, there is never a 100% guarantee that a product bearing the mark is safe,” said CEO of NSAI, Maurice Buckley.
“That’s why NSAI is advising consumers to familiarise yourself with the CE Mark and always buy products from trustworthy shops and online outlets,” Buckley added.
The black market is now costing the Irish economy €1.4bn a year, with one-third of black market activity occurring over the peak Christmas shopping period. The Revenue Commissioners recently confirmed the seizure of counterfeit Disney goods, including ‘Frozen’ DVDs and toys, as well as fake Apple iPhones, Samsung Galaxy handsets and hundreds of fake GHD hair straighteners.