Illegal household appliances
The utilization of unregulated household appliances lacking safety signs can pose significant fire and explosion hazards. According to recent data disclosed by the Consumer Product Safety Office (CPSO) in response to Lianhe Zaobao’s inquiries, the sales of illegal household appliances have seen a staggering increase of over fourfold in the past five years. In 2018, approximately 460 cases reported; in 2022, the number surged to nearly 2,500. Alarmingly, around 85% of these illegal appliances are traced back to e-commerce platforms.
The term “illegal household appliances” pertains to electrical devices without registration with the CPSO or lacking effective safety indicators. Using such appliances carries a high potential risk, primarily due to the increased likelihood of fire hazards.
Residential fires are:
The most prevalent type in our country.
Accounting for 52% of the total incidents in 2022.
Amounting to 935 cases.
Among these, fires caused by power sources have climbed an alarming 18.8% increase, resulting in 228 incidents. Many of these fires can be attributed to electrical malfunctions in wiring or appliances and overloaded electrical outlets.
Over the past month, there have been numerous reports in the media regarding fires in HDB flats, with at least four suspected to be linked to the malfunction or improper usage of household appliances. This concerning trend has raised alarm bells.
The Consumer Product Safety Office (CPSO) has acknowledged that the surge in illegal electrical appliances is primarily attributed to the growing prevalence of e-commerce platforms and the authorities’ efforts to enforce stricter regulations. In response to this situation, the authorities are actively collaborating with major e-commerce platforms to implement countermeasures to reduce the influx of illegal electrical appliances into the market.
In response to inquiries from Lianhe Zaobao, a spokesperson from the e-commerce platform Qoo10 it was stated that sellers must familiarize themselves with the list of illegal products and the consequences of violating regulations before listing their products for sale. Additionally, to alert buyers and promote cautious purchasing, a dedicated section for reminders will be included in the description of electrical appliances, prompting the public to pay attention to safety signs on individual products.
Similarly, a representative from Shopee emphasized the platform’s commitment to ensuring compliance with regulations. Sellers must provide detailed product information and enter the safety mark verification number before listing regulated goods. Consumers also retain the right to report non-compliant sellers through the platform’s application.
A spokesperson highlighted the platform’s provision of return and exchange services regarding Amazon. If consumers receive goods of unsatisfactory quality, they can initiate a return or exchange through Amazon’s system. If necessary, offending products will be removed from the platform’s listings. Buyers with concerns regarding their purchased electrical appliances can directly contact customer service, triggering an investigation into the matter.
Thirty-three categories of local household products, including kitchen utensils, appliances, plugs, sockets, and other electrical items, are classified as “controlled goods.” These products must be tested and affixed with safety signs to be legally sold in the local market. Products without the required safety marks are prohibited from being sold.
Authorities are urging consumers to prioritize products bearing the safety logo, indicating that they have undergone testing and certification to ensure their safety. Consumers are advised against purchasing electrical appliances lacking this logo, as such items may not effectively prevent fires and electrical accidents.
The CPSO and e-commerce platforms will continue their collaboration to remove illegal products and strengthen control measures concerning non-compliant sellers. Sellers selling unregistered controlled goods may face penalties, including fines of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to two years, or both, upon conviction.