PEOPLE planning to buy electrical goods online are urged to think 'safety first' as part of a new awareness campaign.

That's the message from Electrical Safety First – a registered UK charity campaigning on behalf of consumers and electrical trade professionals to improve safety regulation and ensure safety messages are appropriate, up to date and well communicated.

The charity launched their campaign in Parliament this week.

According to the charity, nearly 64% of people who bought fake electrical products nationally purchased them online, and as many as one in three UK residents, the equivalent of 18 million people, have accidentally bought a counterfeit electrical product online.

It also found that around half of 25 to 34 year-olds have bought a fake electrical item online compared to less than 10% of those aged over 55.

Some of the charity's top tips when buying second hand electrical goods include:

  • Avoid buying second hand goods from private sellers as your legal rights are minimal
  • Check if the seller is an established and reputable business seller
  • Check reviews to see if the seller has a good track record
  • Check if your item is complete – i.e. does it come with instructions and all parts?
  • Never buy a recalled product

Robert Jervis-Gibbons, public affairs manager at Electrical Safety First, said: "We would always recommend that consumers ask for proof that second-hand electrical items have been thoroughly checked and certified for use by a qualified electrician before purchasing.

"But whenever possible, we always recommend buying an electrical product from a reputable business trader."