Buying electronics online? Follow essential safety tips


(NC) In these unprecedented times, we’re making more online purchases than before, from groceries to drugstore items and electronics. Now more than ever, awareness of uncertified and counterfeit electrical products should be top of mind to keep you and your family safe.

These tips from the Electrical Safety Authority can help you identify trustworthy electronic products when shopping online.

Recognize the electrical safety approval mark

You have most likely seen electrical safety approval marks on products before – they are common on many household items. But what do they represent? Approval marks are proof that the electrical product has been inspected and tested to meet the required safety standards – this means it is approved for sale in Canada and safe for use. 

When you are getting ready to make a purchase, check the description or images of the product for mention of its approval. In Ontario, common approval marks include the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Underwriters’ Laboratories Inc. (UL) and Intertek Testing Services (ETL). A listing of all approval marks can be found on ESA’s website.

Tip: Battery operated products are not required to have an approval mark.

Check the product after you buy it

Sometimes a product description won’t include the approval mark. So, after you have received an electrical product that was bought online, check the label for a recognized approval mark. Products without an approval mark should be returned to the vendor and reported to ESA.

Beware of questionable online shops

Use your gut instinct. There are some who may be selling counterfeit products that have not been tested to meet the required safety standards. These products may be listed at lower prices than the popular authentic products. Be cautious of counterfeit products that could cause electrical shock or injury. These aren’t worth the cost savings.

It is more important than ever to be aware of electrical safety and to purchase products that will keep you safe at home. See a full list of approval marks or report a product that was not approved at