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Study: Nearly 40% of power banks tested were “substandard”, potential fire hazards

This has been rehashed over and over again: generic power banks from unknown sources, usually available at rock-bottom prices, aren’t exactly the safest of buys. However, if you’ve ignored this—or if you’ve simply not come across this tidbit of information before—China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has studied the safety of power banks, with results that will turn you off from generic power banks forever.

According to South China Morning Post, the regulatory agency studied 75 batches of power banks from 73 different companies in China. Worryingly, the study found that 29 of these batches (almost 40 percent) “had problems”, with overcharging stated as one of the main issues generic power banks face. In fact, this also means that such power banks are potential fire hazards—confirming that power banks can indeed catch fire. Have a look at the following example, courtesy of SCMP:

This isn’t the first time that SAMR has uncovered issues with power banks being sold in China. Back in March, the agency discovered that 41 percent of the power banks being sold on e-commerce sites were also substandard—which isn’t surprising, with the dangers of low quality power banks already widely-documented over the last few years or so.

However, it’s worth noting that the report makes no mention of any specific brands or companies. An educated guess would be that most of these power banks come from obscure brands, or are even generic, non-branded units that are sold for prices below the market rate.

To add onto that, China-based broadcasters CCTV also conducted a few tests of their own using three power banks purchased from local malls. Besides the fact that the power banks did not have the capacity as advertised, the units tested also did not sport any certifications from regulatory agencies—as is required in most countries around the world. In fact, the testers discovered sand in one of the power banks—possibly to add weight for the illusion of heft (and quality).

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It can be difficult to ascertain the safety of a power bank without taking it apart first, and with some electrical know-how as well. As such, the best thing you can do for yourself is to throw that random, generic, dodgy-looking power bank into the trash. Instead, head over to an e-commerce site, and pick yourself up a certified, tested power bank from one of the major brands—Xiaomi, Anker, UGreen, and Aukey are a few affordable examples.

[ VIA ]