This page is dedicated to the late Connor O'Keeffe of Walworth, SE London, who died on December 30 2006, aged 7. Connor was electrocuted while holding a counterfeit Gameboy charger. Tests on the device found it had serious defects, with the wires within it dangerously close together, meaning it could become live and electrocute a user. The gap between the primary and secondary circuits was 1mm wide, compared with European standards that require a 4.6mm gap. For more about Connor and what caused his death please see this TSI press release.
Chargers for mobile phones, games and other devices are often built into BS 1363 type plugs. Such chargers need to conform to the pin dimensions of BS 1363 in the interests of safety, and also to ensure that BS 1363 sockets are not damaged by their use. There are many instances of chargers which do not meet these expectations, especially when they are counterfeits.
Sadly, although 8 years have passed, there is still a major problem with sub-standard and counterfeit chargers. A very useful document on the dangers of counterfeit and aftermarket chargers has been prepared by Buckinghamshire Trading Standards, we recommend it to you, see: What’s In Your Socket? We also recommend the: Buckinghamshire Trading Standards Charger Video. For the technically minded, here is a well researched article: Tiny, cheap, and dangerous: Inside a (fake) iPhone charger