Adaptors commonly used with appliances such as television games and cordless telephones put people at risk of burns or electric shock, safety tests revealed yesterday. The Consumer Council said there were two or three adaptors in every home, and none of the 15 AC-DC models it checked had passed the safety standard. Chairman of the publicity and community relations committee Dr Lo Chi-kin said five of the devices most commonly sold were an immediate danger to users. He said while some models came close to passing the test and did not pose a real threat to users, the five were seriously at odds with the standard and householders should stop using them immediately. The five models the council says are unsafe are the Winstar NA-350, Winstar MD-1000RS, Newstar NA-350BS, Newstar NA-1000MD and TRC T-1000. The council also found that the adaptors, which convert mains power into low-voltage direct current, wasted $70 million worth of electricity a year because they were often left in 'stand-by' mode round the clock. 'Users have complained about overheating, the smell of burning and, in some cases, suspected leakage of current,' Dr Lo said. No fires or serious shocks had been attributed to adaptors, but the tests had shown they could easily short circuit and electrocute users or start a fire. The adaptors tested were those sold independently of an appliance. In all 15 samples tested, the cord was not connected properly to the wire inside the adaptor, and 12 models had insufficient distance between internal parts. Many were found to malfunction if there was a power overload, or if the voltage switch was accidentally set at 110 volts rather than 220. Dr Lo said it was impossible for authorities to ensure all appliances being sold in Hong Kong were safe. Consumers had a role to play in forcing suppliers to comply with standards. He said most suppliers of suspect adaptors had said they were making safety improvements or no longer sold the models. Since January 1996, 26 consumers have complained about faulty adaptors.