Officers from West Sussex Trading Standards bought travel adaptors in January 2018 from various outlets, including the TK Maxx in Worthing’s Liverpool Road, after concerns over the safety of these products, a county council spokesman said.
Testing showed several safety failings, including the risk of electric shock, the spokesman confirmed.
TJK UK Ltd, which trades under TK Maxx, pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates Court on Wednesday, December 12, following the investigations, the spokesman said.
It was ordered to pay more than £20,000 in fines and costs, said the spokesman.
Another firm, IT Luggage Limited, which was also found to be selling dangerous travel adaptors, also pleaded guilty in a seperate case and was ordered to pay more than £20,000 in fines and costs, said the spokesman.
Peter Aston, Trading Standards Team Manager, said: “The seriousness of these offences is reflected in the fines these firms have been ordered to pay.
“These travel adaptors failed safety testing which means they could cause electrocution and potentially death to an unsuspecting user.
“We usually advise people to only buy electrical products from a recognised brand or high street retailer but as this case proves, that doesn’t always guarantee safety.”
Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “It is very worrying to see two big high street retailers selling these dangerous products.
“I am relieved that all the adaptors have been recalled and that the firms in question have been fined.
“It is of absolute importance that businesses thoroughly test any electrical products before they are sold.”
TK Maxx mistakenly treated the adaptors as ‘fashion accessories’ on their system which meant they were not subject to the store’s usual safety checks, according to the county council spokesman.
IT Luggage Ltd was unaware of the safety requirements relating to this product so carried out no checks when importing them from China, the spokesman said.
Both companies recalled the products once informed of the results of testing, confirmed the spokesman.
Anyone who has bought a travel adaptor and has concerns about its safety, let Trading Standards know by calling Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.