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Product Know how: How to avoid non-compliant pitfalls

Product Know how: How to avoid non-compliant pitfalls

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How to get the rewards of using compliant products                       

Everyone stands to benefit from an electrical industry free of non-compliant products. There are simple measures you can take to help keep the public safe, while reaping the rewards of installing compliant products.

What is a ‘non-compliant’ product?

‘Non-compliant’ products are those that:

  • do not meet relevant product standards
  • are inappropriate for an assembly
  • make misleading claims on performance or compliance with legislation

Basically, no-one can rely on a non-compliant product to work safely and effectively.

Why should I install compliant products?

As a responsible contractor, installing compliant products, you’ll have peace of mind, a sound reputation, a positive contribution to society and the best business opportunities. You’ll also avoid the risks of fines or imprisonment, costs of replacements and repairs, loss of business, and, in many cases, funding criminal activity.

How can I support compliant products?

These simple business practices can limit the spread of non-compliant products:

  • Work with known products, trusted brands and through reliable sources
  • Be extra cautious when considering buying unknown products or from unfamiliar sources
  • Establish processes to safeguard against buying counterfeit or non-compliant products
  • Train staff (at all levels) of the risks, responsibilities and consequences
  • Inform authorities if you have placed unsafe products on the market
  • Check with the brand owner or industry association if you are unsure about a product

It is also important to question whether a product in front of you could be non-compliant. BEAMA, working with other industry associations, is developing simple guidance materials for product types (starting with MCBs) to help you identify compliant products – look out for the publication of these in the near future. They will follow a consistent format, helping you to follow steps to identify a counterfeit or non-compliant product:

What are the steps?

  • Examine your productslook for correct and genuine certification marks
  • Be wary of ‘bargains’– if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Evaluate the condition of your products – check for quality, including packaging

Sadly, non-compliant products are sold and used in the UK. BEAMA has had some independently tested and they have shown to be very dangerous.

What do I do when I come across non-compliant products?

If you see non-compliant (or counterfeit) products on the market, you can safely blow the whistle via the ‘Does it Comply?’ website: http://www.doesitcomply.co.uk/what_should_you_do/report-non-compliant-product

It will also help to refer any concerns about non-compliant product to the ECA, which works with many trade associations in the industry to raise awareness and provide guidance to a wide range of stakeholders, including government and enforcement bodies. By taking even a small part in this process, you can help to maintain the reputation of the industry, keep consumers safe and grow a strong reputable business.

For more information, check out this video, created by Voltimum, featuring ECA's Head of Technical Steve Martin, Keith Smith from BEAMA, Alan Birks from GAMBICA and Frank Bertie from NAPIT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ2XoOTmAy0