Beware of Extremely Dangerous Fake Fuses

Research by Electrical Testing specialists, Intersafe, reveal fake fuses in circulation on the UK market. These counterfeit fuses can be extremely unsafe and could cause severe injury.

The Department of Trade & Industry Standards & Technical Regulations Directorate 6 (STRD6) reported that the presence of fake fuses in 13 amp BS 1363 plugs could be dangerous and cause the fuse link to “blow.” This may explode violently and may blast the top off a plug or blast a plug from the socket. Reports suggest these fake fuses could cause severe injury.

How Do I Spot a Fake Fuse?

In short, a Bussmann fuse is the genuine article! Here are just some of the elements to look out for when identifying a counterfeit fuse:

  • The most important thing to notice is the diameter of the fuse wire in the unknown brand, it is significantly wider than the genuine 5 amp and of an unknown rating
  • The name resembles the Bussmann trademark but isn’t Bussmann
  • The printing on the case is not perfect
  • The “ceramic” is too thick
  • The ceramic body is much ´whiter´ than the bodies used by approved manufacturers-The ASTA and BSI logos appear to be larger (longer) than those printed on approved fuses
  • The ink used has a gloss finish compared to the matt finish of approved manufacturers
  • The end caps are made of base metal and are magnetic, real fuse ends are copper and non-magnetic
  • In a lot of cases the end caps aren’t even fixed, they should be bonded all together even after the fuse has blown

The Basics: What is a Fuse?

A fuse breaks the circuit if a fault in an appliance causes too much current to flow. This protects the wiring and the appliance if something goes wrong. The fuse contains a piece of wire that melts easily. If the current going through the fuse is too great, the wire heats up until it melts and breaks the circuit.

Fuses in plugs are made in standard ratings. The most common are 3A, 5A and 13A. The fuse should be rated at a slightly higher current than the device needs:

  • if the device works at 3A, use a 5A fuse
  • if the device works at 10A, use a 13A fuse

Intersafe specialise in essential electrical testing including PAT Testing. The process of Portable Appliance Testing, includes carrying out visual inspections. Our qualified and experienced engineers will instantly be able to identify any fake fuses, they will immediately remove these and replace, safeguarding the Health and Safety of your employees, staff, students and/or visitors.

Got a question? Call 02380 610101.