Originally Posted by Wiggin
That said, and in reply to the original poster, I suspect that the locations (ie, China) where the safety issue is of real concern, the lack of regulations are always going to allow dangerous products on the market that no quality vendor would ever be able to compete with on price. Any products sold at retail or even online stores like Amazon in a country with good consumer safety regulations are likely going to meet minimum safety standards. I'd never buy a no-name adaptor off eBay. But an established retailor in a country with good consumer safety laws is going to have enough skin in the game that they will make sure they are selling safe products.
I understand I'm using your statement out of context, but what you said above is simply untrue.
In the United States we have the N.E.C. (National Electric Code). Beyond that certain states have amendments to those regulations. In my own state we have the Mass Amendments which in relatively simple terms make the national code a bit more strict. This has very little to do with off shore manufacturing and applies very lightly if at all to imports. Even if it was applied correctly to imports, the limited amount of Customs Agents will almost certainly guarantee that poor quality product will become salable in the United States. This is the entire reason (although not code oriented) why you can buy a Gucci bag for $15. Just using a "for instance".
Even in the U.S.A. it's still a case of buyer beware. There are many unsafe items being sold every day. Electrically, there are many two pronged extension cords being sold every day which are in peoples houses and do not meet code.
Don't rely on regulations. Research what you buy. Even if "it's just an extension cord! What could go wrong?"
I could actually list quite a few examples electrically which are commonly sold in the United States that unfortunately do not meet "regulations". Most people don't understand what's wrong with seeing an electrical product in an "all for a dollar" store... Though I bet they're the first to jibe at someone for not buying an actual Apple accessory. It's kind of amazing if you take all of the fanaticism out of the equation. Some are willing to buy the Apple product because they know it's quality, but they'll buy a $5 lamp and wonder why the shade caught fire... Honestly, it really is amazing.
Just be careful. No one is actually protecting you from yourself. Apple's trying, but they only sell phones, computers and tablets. Everything else is up to you.
Edited by Vadania - 7/19/13 at 5:56pm