Other product research

We have tested various electrical products. Find a summary of findings and links to the full reports below.

Floods and Cables

Investigative tests were conducted on samples of six types of electric cable commonly used in domestic installations in the UK. The tests simulated both short and long term immersion in various liquids that could be experienced by installed cables during periods of flooding.

Toasters

Toasters were selected because cooking appliances can pose a high risk to consumers, and there are many available on the market at very low cost.

Of the six toasters tested, only one was found to be non-compliant with the product standard in that it did not have adequate protection against access to live parts.

Plug-in air fresheners

Plug-in air fresheners were selected due to concerns raised over their potential to be a fire hazard. Two of the samples failed safety screening due to the absence of appropriate warnings in the user instruction manuals, and one sample failed to provide adequate mechanical strength to prevent access to live parts.

Outdoor Electric Grills

Outdoor electric grills were selected because they are a seasonal product that are likely to be used frequently during the summer (weather permitting!). Classification and marking departures were found for three of the samples.

Outdoor lighting

Outdoor lighting products were selected for screening because they are used in areas of increased shock risk such as gardens, patios, decking and the like. Departures from the standard marking requirements were found for four of the six samples tested.

Plug-in night lights

This type of product was selected for testing following concerns raised by Trading Standards over potentially dangerous plug-in nightlights. In a case reported last year, a child suffered severe electrical burns from a nightlight that fractured in use, exposing live elements of the lamp. There has also been a product recall of a particular type of nightlight due to plug pins breaking off in use.

Our investigations revealed that five of the six samples tested failed to meet the requirements for marking and/or construction given in the relevant product standard. Problems found included the absence of fuses to provide overcurrent protection, products being shaped or decorated such that they are likely to be treated as a toy by children, incorrect plug dimensions and marking omissions.