Consumers are being warned against the use of cheap no-brand USB chargers, after a woman was found dead with headphones in her ears and her computer on her lap.
Burns to her ears and chest indicated that the cause of death was most likely electrocution.
The woman purchased the charger from a phone accessory store in Campsie in NSW, and the NSW Fair Trading Commission has seized a number of other cheap products for sale in that store that did not meet Australian safety standards.
As the woman’s death is still under investigation, no more details can be provided, but NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rob Stowe said that the public needed to be informed of the possible danger of these cheap no-brand products as soon as possible.
“We’re only familiar with this one incident and it does look like one of these devices are implicated in the electrocution,” he was quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald.
Although the items have been confiscated and the store owner in Campsie now faces prison time and fines of up to $87,500, it’s probably not the only store selling cheap, no-brand phone accessories. Anyone with a smartphone could tell you that it’s pretty easy to find a cheap pair of headphones or a charger when you’re in a bind.
Anyone with information regarding the sale of rip-off and potentially dangerous unapproved phone accessories is advised to contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20.
Consumers are being told to dispose of any unapproved products, making sure to bend the pins so they cannot be used again. It’s also not advisable to use any electrical products while they are plugged in or charging.