The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) continued its campaign to crackdown on faulty electrical goods with raids on shops over the Christmas period.

Fifteen shops around the Staffordshire area were subjected to raids by the ESC during November and December. The raids flagged up a total of 32 faulty appliances being sold as safe to consumers, a figure which may seem small, but is in reality quite high.

Each of those faulty appliances runs a significant danger to the person who purchases it. If these 32 items were sold to customers, there’s a danger that each and every one of these appliances could result in an electrical fire or – at worst – the death of the person who bought it.

The ESC found that the appliances had several dangerous elements that made them unsafe for sale including old-style plugs that are no longer in circulation, the wrong fuse installed inside a plug and even damaged wiring.

The latter is perhaps the most important in terms of safety, as damage to the overall insulation of a wire can result in sparks leaping from the device, running the risk of fire and serious electrical shock. We recommend anyone buying electrical goods checks over their appliance’s wire carefully before use and make sure you don’t stretch or pull wires as this can also cause damage.

Pat Corfield, a member of Staffordshire County Council who joined the ESC for the raids in Biddulph, Leeds, Stafford, Cannock and Burton, said:

"It is vital that electrical goods are safe as they can be potentially lethal if faulty.

"It's important that all traders ensure electrical items sold on their premises are safe and have been properly tested.

"We will carry out similar initiatives in the future and would ask traders selling electrical goods to think about their responsibilities to the public."

The main cause for concern learned from these raids is that similar tactics may be being used by other shop owners across the UK. We recommend that you remain vigilant at all times and give your appliance a thorough check over before use and demand your money back if you think there is a problem with it.

We also recommend you get in touch with the ESC directly if you suspect a shop owner of selling faulty electrical goods.