This Year, Make it Listed, Check it Twice!

How can you be sure the electrical products you sell or install are safe? How do you know they are manufactured to the highest standards? First, know your source. Buy only from manufacturers and distributors you trust. Secondly, make sure the product is listed. Whether it's an extension cord, a connector or a ground rod, a listing symbol means that the product has been tested and passed by an independent laboratory recognized by OSHA.

Both checks are important. An unlisted product from a known manufacturer is still untested and unproven. A "listed" product from a company you're not sure of could be a counterfeit.

Counterfeit electrical products have invaded every product category and can pose significant safety hazards. Left undetected, they can cause deaths, injuries and substantial property loss in the home and the workplace, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).

Often, counterfeiters use inferior materials and skip important manufacturing steps to reduce the cost of their products, allowing them to be sold at prices no genuine brand manufacturer can match. For the unsuspecting buyers of this product, the risk of fire causing injury to person or
property is substantially enhanced.

The following tips from the ESFI could help avoid potentially dangerous counterfeit electrical products:

Look for the CSA, UL or ETL Certification marks. If you have concerns about the marks, contact the certifier.

• Buyers should beware of bargains that seem too good to be true. Products may be cheap because they are counterfeit or defective.

Use established vendors who purchase their goods from legitimate distributors and genuine manufacturers.

• Check the warning label. It should be free of grammatical errors and not conflict with information elsewhere on the package.

Look for the name and contact information of the manufacturer. If this information is missing, considering purchasing electrical products elsewhere.

Avoid no-name products.

For more information, contact Galvan Industries at 1-800-277-5678 or 704-455-5102.

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