Exploding MCCB

Exploding MCCB

You may have seen the recent BBC programme called “Fake Britain”. If you missed it (I’m sure it will be shown again), it showed the normal stuff, DVD’s, clothing, etc but it also focussed on fake products with health and safety issues, and quite right too.  Food stuffs, pharmaceuticals and engineered products aren’t immune from this unscrupulous activity. And here we have serious safety issues. Whiskey, Tablets, Medicines, children’s toys, aircraft and car spares and our products, electrical items, both consumer and industrial, are all copied – and all on sale in UK.


The programme included an interview with Kevin Harris, Chairman of the BEAMA Anti Counterfeiting Committee, and highlighted counterfeit electrical items, mainly on sale at unauthorised distributors, car boot sales, and unauthorised internet sites, which included extension leads, hair straighteners, chargers, circuit breakers, indeed anything that’s supposed to do what it says on the label and to protect you, but they don’t. What is in the minds of these people who make these shoddy goods, probably in a sweat shop in China, and then worse still, put them on the market in UK, just to make a quick profit without any regard for the people who are going to use them, and that includes you?


We saw Gameboy chargers that can kill, and a 7 year old boy’s mother was there to tell her story of finding her young son dead after using a counterfeit bought innocently from a back street shop while on holiday. We saw fake GHD hair straighteners that could overheat, only to find the plug and fuse were also counterfeit and didn’t protect the user. It would be like your daughter putting a hot iron to her head, just to save a few pounds – these were bought on eBay.


And we saw circuit breakers with absolutely no overload or short circuit protection fitted inside. Just a cheap plastic case, with terminals to connect your wires to and a handle to switch it on. These were on sale in the UK, at a fraction of the cost of the genuine article. Someone’s making a healthy profit. Someone’s house has no circuit breaker protection. Let’s hope it not yours.


We tested the circuit breakers to see what would happen, as if we didn’t know. The circuit breaker exploded, it blew the cover off the box. If anyone had been standing in front of the enclosure they would have been seriously injured at least. Then, of course, was the inevitable fire. If this unit had been in your switchhroom, or in your house, you would have had a major incident on your hands.


We beg you, buy reputable, well known brands and remember the 3 P’s. Buy from a Place you know, buy from a Person you know and, if the Price is too good to be true, it may not be. Buy from distributors that are authorised to do so.


Buying electrical products can be safe – remember the 3P’s. Your reputation is on the line.

 Kevin Harris

Kevin Harris

Chairman, BEAMA Anti-Counterfeiting WG

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