Patrick recently teamed up with Electrical Safety First, a leading safety charity, to help raise awareness of the dangers of counterfeits in the run up to the Christmas shopping period when high street and digital retailers offer a range of special offers and discounts.
Research conducted by Electrical Safety First, reveals that an estimated 638,000 Scots - more than the population of Glasgow - have seen counterfeit electrical products for sale near them, or online. And over 195,000 Scots have bought a fake electrical item in the last year.
Speaking at the event, Patrick said:
“Christmas is always expensive and we are all keen to get a bargain but Electrical Safety First’s research makes it clear that shoppers must beware of fakes – particularly via the web”
“Christmas is always expensive and we are all keen to nab a bargain but Electrical Safety First’s research makes it clear that shoppers must beware of fakes. The Charity has also found that 3 out of 5 fake electricals are purchased online, with a third of buyers experiencing major problems with the item. And with around 70% of fires in Scottish homes caused by electricity, this is a risk you don’t want to take."
The research shows that it’s not always easy for people to spot a counterfeit product. Three quarters of consumers were unable to identify Genuine GHD hair straighteners and three in five could not spot a fake Apple charger - and with the rise of online shopping, it can be even more difficult.
One in five online shoppers admitted they didn’t consider the authenticity of the product, with over half simply presuming that the electrical items for sale online were genuine.
And, of course, some people are deliberately buying fake products. One in six of those surveyed said they would consider buying a product – even if they suspected it was fake – if it was cheaper than the original.
“Fake goods are often cheaper because they omit key components which can affect both the safety and functionality of the product. To make sure you buy ‘the genuine article’, Electrical Safety First has developed advice to help people spot a fake electrical product. Visit: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/electrical-items/safe-shopping to find out more.
"I’m urging all my constituents to check this before they do their Christmas shopping.”