SABS sues for faulty adapters

The SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) has taken legal steps against a company for distributing unsafe electrical adapters.

The SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) has taken legal steps against a company for distributing unsafe electrical adapters.

The SABS said yesterday that Ampax Electrical had continued to distribute the unsafe adapters despite being "issued a legal directive ... to keep their stock in their premises until further notice".

The SABS said the adapter "can cause fatal electrical shock and fires" and that it "failed to comply with the safety, health and environmental requirements of the regulation".

"A continuous use of these adapters might cause fires, electrical shocks, damage household electrical circuits, thus putting people's lives at risk."

The adapter also failed a "tumbling barrel test" of the strength of the moulding material when dropped from different angles.

This test also checks the rigidity of the separate components and assembly of the apparatus when dropped.

The SABS said consumers could "detect this dangerous design" by simply inserting a plug into the adapter in such a way that one live pin is free.

Ampax chief executive Frank Jew said the adapters in dispute were 15 to 13 AMP adapters used for converting between South African plugs with three rounded pins and British style plugs with three rectangular pins.

Jew said the company had been selling the adapters for many years without a single complaint.

He questioned why someone would want to drop an adapter or would want to insert only one pin into the adapter. - Sapa

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