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August 20, 2013

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Fire fears for portable power banks

CITY quality watchdogs found problems with more than half of the portable power banks they tested recently — including some that burst into flames.

The Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau checked 22 batches and found quality issues in 13 batches, it reported yesterday.

Affected batches included products sold by well-known electrical product retailers in both brick-and-mortar and online stores, officials said.

 The faults with safety protection and battery safety detected could lead to devices going up in flames in certain circumstances, said officials.

Scenarios included overcharging, over discharge, short circuiting, static electricity disturbance, high temperatures or the device striking heavy items or falling down.

Portable power supply devices are gaining popularity for wide use with numerous mobile digital electronic products, but there is as yet no national standard, the bureau said.

Devices made by Dibike, a big digital products maker based in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, and sold by Shanghai PC Mall Co, caught fire in lab tests.

Another batch of devices from Beisite, a Shenzhen-based dealer and distributor, and sold at China’s leading online shopping site, caught fire in thermal shock tests.

And three batches of devices sold by GOME — China’s second-largest home appliance retailer, Suning — China’s largest home appliance retailer, and supermarket chain NGS had problems with failing overcharge protection and short circuit protection during tests. The devices sold at NGS also caught fire in thermal shock tests.

These products all present  serious safety concerns, the bureau said.

It has ordered the companies involved to stop selling these devices and is calling for a national standard targeting portable power supply devices.



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