Beware of these unsafe Products in South Africa

  • There are more than 3000 electrical fires annually in South Africa and there are many more with unknown causes that could be electrical. Cases of electrocution are not widely publicized.
  • The products illustrated below and purchased in February & March 2016 are a tiny sample of a range of sub-standard, unsafe electrical products being distributed in South Africa on a large scale.
  • The problem also extends to safety devices such as circuit breakers and earth-leakage units that do not perform their function and endanger lives and property.
  • Such products do not comply with compulsory standards and are illegal. Distributing such products is a criminal act, yet unscrupulous suppliers are able to distribute them with apparent impunity.
  • Non-compliance is difficult to assess and unsuspecting customers are using unsafe products in their homes and in commercial and industrial buildings.
  • Some sub-standard products are distributed under different brand names and in packaging that obscures their identity.
  • Documents produced as authorisations to distribute products are not always reliable proof of compliance with regulations, as may be the case here.

Except for the AP-02 adaptor which has visual non-compliances, the SAFEhouse Association has had the electrical products depicted below tested by an accredited laboratory. They have been found to be non-compliant with SA regulations and are unsafe.


 PRODUCT: UNBRANDED PLUG-IN ADAPTOR TYPE AP-02 in VALUPAK packaging

STANDARD REFERENCE & NON COMPLIANCE CONSEQUENCE RISK TO USER plug1
SANS 164-2 Sockets not enclosed in 12mm deep well. No earth-leakage protection.
Live pins exposed on entry.
Risk of electric shock.
This product design is dangerous and has been banned for many years.
SANS 164-1 – SANS 60884-1 Clause 8: Marking – no manufacturer’s name No identification Rejection by National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications.

PRODUCT: REDISSON PLUG-IN ADAPTOR TYPE R-36 in VALUPAK packaging

STANDARD REFERENCE & NON COMPLIANCE CONSEQUENCE RISK TO USER plug2
SANS 164-1 Pin diameters fail Reduced contact and contact pressure from socket outlet. Risk of overheating.
SANS 164-2 Well depth fail Risk of live pins exposed on entry. Risk of poor live and neutral pin contact leading to overheating.
SANS 164-1 Depth of entry hole fail Shallow hole reduced entry of E pin. Risk of poor live and neutral pin contact leading to overheating.
SANS 164-1 No-contact gauge fail SANS 164-1 No-contact gauge fail Risk of electric shock if pins are touched on plug insertion.
SANS 164-2 Single pin insertion fail Malfunctioning protective shutter can allow entry of
single metal objects.
Risk of electric shock.

PRODUCT: REDISSON PLUG-IN ADAPTOR TYPE R-38 in VALUPAK packaging

STANDARD REFERENCE & NON COMPLIANCE CONSEQUENCE RISK TO USER plug3
SANS 164-1 Pin diameter fail Reduced contact and contact pressure from socket outlet. Risk of overheating.
SANS 164-6 Pin entry hole diameter fail Entry holes too small – possible damage to plug. Problematic functionality.
SANS 164-2 Single pin insertion fail Malfunctioning protective shutter can allow entry of single metal objects. Risk of electric shock.

PRODUCT: REDISSON PLUG-IN ADAPTOR TYPE R-17 in VALUPAK packaging

STANDARD REFERENCE & NON COMPLIANCE CONSEQUENCE RISK TO USER plug4
SANS 164-1 Pin diameter fail Reduced contact and contact pressure from socket outlet. Risk of overheating.
SANS 164-1 Distance to edge fail Reduced space between edge and live pin. Risk of electric shock if pins are touched on plug insertion, especially by small fingers.
SANS 164-2 Single pin insertion fail Malfunctioning protective shutter can allow entry of single metal objects. Risk of electric shock.
SANS 164-2 Contact gauge fail Contact too deep reduces pin contact area. Overheating, arcing and possibly fire.

PRODUCT: K-KBO CORD EXTENSION SET in VALUPAK packaging

STANDARD REFERENCE & NON COMPLIANCE CONSEQUENCE RISK TO USER plug1
SANS 60227-5 and SANS 1574-1 Cable fail Conductor resistance exceeds requirements. Overheating and fire.
With a high-resistance earth conductor, the earth leakage protection function may be compromised.

What to do??? ……… Some Guidelines

  • Purchase brands you know and can trust.
  • Ask your supplier to confirm compliance with safety regulations.
  • Be suspicious of prices that are substantially below those of other, similar products on offer.
  • Examine products for obvious signs of inferior design, materials or workmanship.
  • Be suspicious of products and packaging that lack basic information such as Voltage, Amperage and, for instance, in the case of electrical cable and wire, a description of the applications for which the product is suitable or not.

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