Counterfeit and unauthorised substandard electrical cables have flooded the market, posing risks of fire incidents and electrocution.
Unscrupulous cable traders at markets in the capital and other parts of the country are deceiving the buyers by selling the substandard and counterfeit cables which use the logos of prominent brands illegally.
The fake and low-quality cables often cause electric short-circuits in establishments.
According to Fire Service and Civil Defense Headquarters, around 50 to 60 percent of the fire incidents originate from electric short-circuits.
Experts advise people to ensure that the electrical cables they use in their homes and offices meet the required standards.
Statistics available from FSCD show that at least 16,858 incidents of fire took place in the country in 2016 damaging properties worth Tk 240 crore and claiming the lives of 52 people. Of these, at least 10,000 fire incidents were caused by electric short-circuits.
During a recent visit to some markets at Nawabpur, the daily sun correspondent saw that a section of traders is selling substandard electrical cables and accessories using the brand names of BRB, Paradise, Super Shine, Grameen, Citizen and BBS Cables.
MA Mannan, CEO of Perfect Wire and Electrical Industry, told the daily Sun, “The common conductors for electrical cable are mainly made of copper but the substandard wires are made of other metals.”
“The use of other materials instead of copper affects electrical conductivity, causing overheating and fire,” he added.
He said the substandard cables are not manufactured in accordance with the prescribed standards and specifications.
Sources said electrical cable-producing companies regularly monitor the market to detect fake products being sold using their brand names. They have made a list of counterfeit goods which use their brand logos.
On January 22 this year, RAB conducted a mobile court drive in Nawabpur and held three people in charge of marketing fake cables. They seized Tk 5 crore worth of fake cables with the logo of BRB, Paradise and Eastern Cables.
RAB Executive Magistrate Sarwar Alam told the daily sun: “We conducted six mobile court drives from January 2017 to January 2018 and seized fake cables worth Tk 11 crore. Six people were jailed in this connection.”
During primary interrogation, the counterfeiters said they used to work for renowned cable manufacturers. Later they left their jobs and started making fake cables, he added.
Mainul Islam Bhuiyan, president of Bangladesh Electrical Merchandise Manufactures Association (BEMMA), told the daily sun: “We discourage our members from producing or selling fake products. We encourage them to deal in better-quality products for the people and for the country.”
Director general of Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD) Brigadier General Ali Ahmed Khan told the daily sun: “Around 50 to 60 percent of the fire incidents in the country are originated from electric short-circuits.”
Most of the old electric lines are not inspected by the homeowners while many people use cheap and substandard products, increasing the risk of fire, he added.
He advised the homeowners for inspecting their electric lines in regular interval.
On February 5, four members of a family were burnt in a fire that broke out at a house of Mohammadpur in the capital. The fire was originated from an electric short-circuit, according to FSCD.
On March 23 last year, a fire broke out on the 13th floor of the BB headquarters in the city’s Motijheel, which was doused in an hour.
Samarandra Nath, deputy director (Dhaka) of FSCD headquarters, told journalists that the fire originated from an electric short-circuit at a water heater.