Officeworks has issued a recall for a faulty USB chargers that could easily set a house on fire, more than 1050 of the chargers have been sold already.
The ACCC’s Product Safety Recalls Australia website and NSW Fair Trading have published a recall for a generic Officeworks USB charger that a customer reported overheating and then melting.
The Recalls site notes that the defect sees “some instances where the USB charger can overheat which can cause the casing to melt, allowing access to live circuits”.
The USB charger was sold by Officeworks between July 19, 2003 and the August 2, 2014, with a defective hazard that “could result in electrical shock, fire or serious injury”.
“Approximately 1050” faulty chargers have been sold via Officeworks stores.
NSW Fair Trading Minister, Matthew Mason-Cox urged consumers in a media release to “check their USB chargers” following the recall.
The Minister said: “This is a voluntary recall undertaken by Officeworks following a recent incident where a USB charging device overheated, causing the casing to melt.
“Consumers who have purchased these devices are urged to stop using them immediately and return the goods to Officeworks for a full refund. If consumers are unsure, they should still contact Officeworks for advice.
“Fair Trading has been warning consumers about the dangers of using unapproved electrical goods following the tragic death of Mrs Sheryl Aldeguer.
“The device being recalled, however, is not the same model as the device implicated in that tragic incident. This warning is doing the right thing by consumers and making safety a priority.
“Officeworks has confirmed that they will be getting the USB charger tested and assessed”, concluded the Minister.
NSW Fair Trading inspectors undertook targeted visits and shops looking for unapproved electrical goods, including USB chargers, with 17 Penalty Infringement notice fines issues as a result, with continued monitoring of retail stores in progress.
1166 individual traders and 2124 items were inspected.
NSW Fair Trading advises that “consumers should always check with the supplier or seller of these types of chargers to ensure the items comply with Australian standards and by looking for the approval mark”, and that “approved electrical goods are identified by a marking consistent with capital letters corresponding to the authorised state, territory or independent approval body, followed by a certificate number.”
An Officeworks spokesperson said: “The safety of Officeworks’ products is our absolute priority. As such, we have voluntarily elected to recall one line of USB wall chargers (model MS10071223) We are currently conducting further testing, however, on a precautionary basis we recommend customers return the model in question to their local stores for a full refund. Customers with any concerns can contact 1300 OFFICE (633 423).”