People must be cautious when shopping online for electrical products in the run-up to Christmas.

That's the view of Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan.

Consumer safety charity Electrical Safety First has carried out some research for Electrical Safety Week (23rd-29th November) which shows that three out of five consumers in Scotland will be shopping on online marketplaces this Christmas.

But the charity is warning shoppers that they need to be aware of risks. Multiple investigations by Electrical Safety First have found dangerous electrical products, which present a serious fire risk, can easily be bought from third party sellers via online marketplaces.

Now Alasdair Allan, as part of his support for Electrical Fire Safety Week, is helping the charity raise awareness of this risk in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. He said: “Electrical Safety First’s research has shown that almost 60% of us in Scotland will buy from online marketplaces this Christmas. And 58% are planning to use these websites more than usual.

“This seems to be partly because some people believe these websites are a safer way of shopping than going to local shops during the pandemic. But this confidence is not supported by the charity’s investigations, which have repeatedly found unsafe electricals for sale online, including on Amazon Marketplace, eBay and Wish.com.

“Electrical Safety First’s research indicates that over 20% are planning to buy an electrical item as a gift this Christmas – yet it has previously found that in the UK three out of five fake electricals are purchased online, with a third of buyers experiencing major problems with the item.

“I am joining with Electrical Safety First to urge my constituents to reduce their chances of buying dangerous electricals by sticking to the stores or websites of known manufacturers and retailers and to beware of buying from third party sellers on these platforms. We all love a bargain and Christmas is always expensive, but with nearly three-quarters of house fires in Scotland caused by electricity - and most arising from electrical products - this is a risk you don’t want to take.”

For more advice on how to shop safe this Christmas visit:  www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/spotthefake