It is the latest in a string of incidents involving dangerous USB chargers; NSW Fair Trading raided vendors selling unapproved chargers last month, following the death of a NSW woman suspected to be the result of an electric surge from a faulty charger.
The charger subject to the recall is made by Ingram Micro, with model number MS10071223 and packaging code BR094780. It was sold in Officeworks stores between 19th July 2013 and 2nd August 2014. Consumers who have purchased the product are urged to return it to any Officeworks store nationally for a full refund.
The dangers of faulty USB chargers
NSW Fair Trading says unapproved USB chargers don't meet essential safety requirements in the Australian standards and are often made of inferior plastics and insulation materials. In raids of stores selling dodgy chargers, they've found devices without insulation on pins.
The regulator has warned consumers not to buy low-quality USB chargers or adapters that don't feature safety markings, as they could be dangerous and pose a serious risk of electrocution or fire. "We are warning all consumers not to use non-compliant chargers and as a general rule not use your phone, tablet or any other device while it is plugged in and charging."
There are several markings consumers can look for, including the common tick inside a triangle.
What to do if your USB charger doesn't feature safety markings
If you've bought an unapproved and non-compliant USB-style charger, NSW Fair Trading says you should stop using it immediately, bend its pins and dispose of it.
Retailers selling unapproved devices put on notice
NSW Minister for Fair Trading Matthew Mason-Cox has warned retailers and importers not to supply unapproved electrical products and is calling for the media and the public to alert them with any information about where unapproved electrical goods are being sold. "Traders must recognise their responsibilities when selling electrical goods and act in accordance with the law designed to protect consumers."
If you know where unapproved electrical goods are being sold, contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20.
What Officeworks says
In a statement on Facebook Officeworks says: "The safety of Officeworks' products is our absolute priority. As such, we have voluntarily elected to recall one line of USB wall chargers (model MS10071223). We are currently conducting further testing, however on a precautionary basis we recommend customers return the model in question to their local stores for a full refund. Customers with any concerns can contact 1300 OFFICE (633 423)."