Electrical Safety First (ESF) wants the new legislation to close a loophole in the law, which is said to allow “substandard and illegal” electrical products to be sold through online markets such as Amazon and eBay.
This is after the charity’s investigation discovered items for sale including devices that exploded during testing, potentially deadly phone chargers and extension leads that could pose a serious risk of electric shock.
Some of the dodgy devices are sold as prizes to save people money on their energy bills, the charity said.
The ESF wrote to MPs including Jane Stevenson, Stuart Anderson, Valerie Vaz, Shaun Bailey and Pat McFadden urging them to force ministers to bring in “adequate protection” for people who buy goods in electricity through online markets.
The charity’s chief executive, Lesley Rudd, said: “The UK Government should maintain online markets on the same basis as it does High Street retailers.
“The gaps in the law allow opportunistic traders to take advantage of lax regulations.”
The ESF is investigating gadgets that include four plug-in devices, which claim to save energy or “stabilize electricity”.
Charity says all four samples failed basic safety standards, fire hazard and electric shock, while a device exploded during a test designed to demonstrate its ability to safe handling of a short circuit.
EBay said it took what it knew was “very serious” and immediately removed the products from sale.
The charity wants to change the law so that online marketplaces must follow the same safety regulations as other UK retailers, while also ensuring that electrical goods offered are sold on their sites. to third party vendors safe to use.
Under the law, any electrical products reported to be unsafe must be removed from the site within 24 hours.
An online petition garnered more than 36,000 signatures.