Is your electrical device safe for use in Canada? In today’s global marketplace, a plethora of counterfeit electrical products are on the Canadian marketplace. Cell phone chargers, extension cords, outlet splitters, holiday decorations and many other electrical products are widely available at bargain prices. While these inexpensive items might seem like a good value due to their low cost, they can be very dangerous [and even pose a fire risk].
It can be confusing to decipher labels especially when counterfeit goods look the same as name brand items. You may be asking why counterfeit goods are “allowed” to be sold in stores in Canada. We understand your confusion! Thanks to today’s global marketplace and easy online shopping, counterfeit electrical goods are a very serious problem in Canada. Unfortunately due to lack of resources, it’s impossible to stop the flow of counterfeit goods in to Canada. The best course of action is to learn to protect yourself and your family. You may not know if your electrical device is CSA approved for use in Canada but as a licensed electrician, I can guide you in making safe purchases.
STEP BY STEP – IS YOUR ELECTRICAL DEVICE CSA APPROVED FOR USE IN CANADA?:
- Technical Safety BC’s listing of approved marks on electrical products is a great general resource for all Canadians. Refer to it while shopping to make safe buying decisions for any device that uses electricity.
- Slight differences in the appearance of label markings on electrical devices are common with fraudulently labelled products. These differences are not always easy to spot so be sure to look closely.
- Check if the electrical device you wish to buy [or own] is on a recall list .
- Buy recognized, brand name electrical goods from reputable retailers. Look for company information such as addresses and website listings on labels and make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Those are indicators that your “name brand” purchase is most like counterfeit. Electricity can be dangerous as identified in this CBC News video so buying counterfeit [and aftermarket] electrical goods is not recommended!
We hope this article has been helpful for you and as always, if you need a Licensed Electrician in the Comox Valley, please get in touch!