Five ways to avoid counterfeit electrical products

Eaton expands its participation in industry educational campaign.
By Eaton February 5, 2015

Eaton is expanding its educational campaign to warn about the dangers of counterfeit electrical equipment such as the circuit breaker pictured above. Courtesy: EatonEaton will expand its efforts to help manufacturers identify counterfeit electrical products through its "I Didn’t Know" educational campaign. Company officials said in a press release that progress is being made on this issue. "Through joint initiatives with Independent Electrical Contractors and Electrical Safety Foundation International in 2014, we learned Eaton’s anti-counterfeiting educational efforts have helped professionals understand the dangers of counterfeit electrical products; however, more work is needed to share best practices and encourage collaboration to combat counterfeiting," said Tom Grace, brand protection manager, Eaton’s Electrical Sector Americas. There are five tips provided by Eaton designed to help manufacturers be aware of the problems of counterfeit products and to help address ways to avoid purchasing or installing such devices. They include:

1. Know counterfeits are difficult to identify.

Counterfeit product manufacturers rely on deception, the Internet, and prices below market level to find their way into our homes, businesses, and commercial and industrial facilities. The more sophisticated counterfeiters become, the more difficult counterfeit products are to identify. The best way to avoid counterfeit electrical products is to purchase products from the manufacturer’s authorized distributors or resellers. There is a higher risk of counterfeits if one cannot trace the path of commerce to the original manufacturer.

2. Know how to report a counterfeit.
If you identify a counterfeit in the field, report it to the brand owner. This will allow authentication of the suspect product and ensure that it is removed from the marketplace. Contact the IPR Center who will disseminate the information for appropriate response. Contact the IPR Center at IPRCenter@dhs.gov or 1-866-IPR-2060.

3. Know your resources.
Take advantage of the resources available surrounding counterfeiting. Many companies are leading efforts to protect public health and safety by providing tools, tips and information to help professionals avoid coming into contact with hazardous electrical devices.

4. Know counterfeiting is an industry-wide issue.
From the manufacturer that designs the product, to the government body inspecting imports, to the distributor that sells products and the contractors that install them, everyone across the industry is subject to the dangers of counterfeiting. It is crucial to work together to prevent these unsafe counterfeit products from causing harm to people and property.

5. Know that you can help.
If every individual along a product’s supply chain played an active role in stopping counterfeit products from being bought and sold, the demand for counterfeit electrical products would decrease. Reducing the spread of counterfeit electrical products can help to ensure maximum electrical safety protection.

For additional information about the dangers counterfeit electrical products, visit Eaton’s site at www.eaton.com/counterfeit.

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