Local retailers are urged to store suspected unsafe portable chargers after the city’s customs and consumer watchdog found some items failed to meet safety standards. Officials on Thursday revealed they had recently conducted reviews in districts around the city and ordered two retailers to store 27 power banks suspected of being unsafe. “Customs will arrange safety testing for the power banks and continue conducting spot checks with a view to protecting consumers’ safety,” the statement said. The developments came after the Consumer Council detected nearly a third of 30 tested power banks, priced from HK$79 to HK$500, failed to meet international safety standards. “ Consumers want power banks to be 100 per cent safe because we keep it at home, we carry it, we use it all the time,” council chief executive Gilly Wong Fung-han said. “The quality of the product could be improved to minimise the risk of getting burned ... and [overheating].” Consumers want power banks to be 100 per cent safe Consumer Council chief executive Gilly Wong The consumer watchdog tested 30 power banks’ resistance to fire, temperature rises and malfunctions. Seven of the outer covers faced fire resistance problems, with one continuing to burn for over a minute after a flame was applied for just 30 seconds. In another test, the banks were charged repeatedly 100 times to simulate one year of usage. One charger ceased working after just 26 tests. Three others showed a significant dip in energy levels, with the largest being 60.5 per cent. And one of the three was left with a swollen battery and a body that expanded 4mm in thickness. “The government needs to [pay more] attention on regulating all this equipment in Hong Kong,” said Professor Michael Hui King-man, the council’s chairman of publicity and community relations. Hui argued Hong Kong should heed what is being done in places such as Taiwan and Singapore, which have testing and labelling regulations. Hong Kong watchdog considers new law on product and service refunds There were 11 complaints relating to power banks from January to August this year – five more than the same period last year and nearing the 12 complaints tallied for the whole of 2016, the council said. The watchdog recommended chargers be stored in the shade and that their use be avoided in extreme weather, namely below zero or above 35 degrees Celsius. It also warned device usage should be halted as soon as something unusual happened, such as overheating or battery swelling.