Modified pin plugs, a worry

24/04/2018 10:11

The Consumer Council of Fiji is warning traders to refrain from selling modified pin plugs to consumers as it poses a danger to their lives and to their properties.

This follows a report lodged at the Council where a pin plug adjusted by a trader was not appropriate for use in the socket flush board used in Fiji. Modified plugs can cause electrocution and other unwanted damages to the property which could prove fatal for the consumer particularly when active pins of plugs are not fully engaged in socket outlets.

A complaint was received against the modification of two pin plugs sold by an electronic shop in Suva. The complainant noticed the pins were twisted on the front ends and the plug could not completely attach to the socket. It was evident that the pins of plugs were intentionally twisted, as one varied from another. A gap of 0.5cm was measured between the plug and the socket flush. The Council understands that this is a common practice by some traders who buy cheap unsafe electronic products from China and dump it in the Fiji market without any safety concern.

In this case the Council notified Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) now known as Energy Fiji Limited (EFL) where an inspection was carried out and the trader was informed to remove and stop the sale of such dangerous electrical products.

To counter this risk, live pins must be insulated for a prescribed length of pin. The Council strongly recommends the development of set standards to determine the types of electrical plugs and adapters that can be sold in Fiji. As such, this would refrain traders from importing and retailing substandard products to Fijian consumers.

Consumers must also be alert and simply avoid buying products that are not safe. They should thoroughly inspect products before buying them.

Consumers are advised to report such incidents to the Council by calling our National Consumer Helpline toll-free number, 155 or visit any of our offices in Suva, Lautoka or Labasa.