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Thursday, September 14, 2017, 17:50
Consumer Council: 30% of power banks fail safety tests
By ​Tommy Yuen
Thursday, September 14, 2017, 17:50 By ​Tommy Yuen

HONG KONG - The Consumer Council on Thursday said nine out of 30 portable battery chargers available in Hong Kong did not meet safety requirements, posing a threat to consumers.

Potential hazards and defects of these faulty external devices include short lifespan, inflammable materials in battery cases, poor short-circuit protection and low levels of fire resistance, the council said.

Consumers are advised to unplug battery chargers once the devices are fully charged

Among the nine that failed safety tests, flame-retardant capability of the cases of seven models was substandard as they continued to burn for more than 60 seconds after a flame was applied for just 30 seconds. This could lead to a serious risk once a short-circuit failure occurs, the watchdog said.

In the meantime, three of the power banks tested overstated their capacity by 40 percent. One model stopped working properly after being used just 26 times, while the remainder continued to function after being recharged 100 times.

The tested batteries were of various brands and were sold at HK$79 to HK$500.  

Consumers are advised to unplug battery chargers once the devices are fully charged. They should also be stored in a cool place, the council advised, urging users to discard power banks that became overheated or swollen.

The council also urged the government to impose tighter regulations on power banks.

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