Growing awareness of counterfeit electrical products, survey says

A joint survey from power management company, Eaton, and the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) showed both an increased awareness of counterfeit electrical products and a still growing need for more.


A joint survey from power management company, Eaton, and the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) showed both an increased awareness of counterfeit electrical products and a still growing need for more. The survey of IEC members validates the importance of educational campaigns focusing on the dangers and prevalence of counterfeit electrical products. The survey results indicate that educational programs are helping to increase awareness of the dangers of counterfeit products and providing the tools needed to make informed purchasing decisions - key findings that will help increase electrical safety. The results also reveal that more work is needed to share best practices and encourage collaboration in order to thwart counterfeiting.

"The first step to tackling any issue is building awareness and an understanding of why it is important," said Thayer Long, executive vice president and chief executive officer at IEC National.

The survey, created to identify the current state of awareness around counterfeit electrical products, shows where educational campaigns have been successful. Members understand the potential safety dangers of counterfeit products, the sophistication of counterfeiters that makes it difficult to identify a counterfeit electrical product, and how to avoid such products by purchasing directly from the manufacturer's authorized distributors or resellers.

"Electrical contractors are recognizing the prevalence and dangers of counterfeits in the industry," said Tom Grace, brand protection manager at Eaton. "Now we need to up our game and provide contractors with easier ways to properly report counterfeit products and build collaboration between manufacturers, industry organizations and government."

Complete results of the survey can be found at

While IEC members are educated on the dangers of counterfeit electrical products, survey results also show that such products continue to be found in the field and that additional education is needed. A vast majority of respondents acknowledge that if they encounter a product they suspect to be counterfeit, they do not know where and how to report it.

More education is needed to raise awareness among those who could potentially identify a counterfeit, encouraging them to contact the brand owner. This will allow authentication of the suspect product and ensure that the potentially unsafe product is removed from the market place.

- Edited by Jordan M. Schultz, content manager, CFE Media,

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