Amazon UK chargerA worrying report – as yet unsubstantiated elsewhere – has emerged in two UK tabloid publications, quoting a safety warning from Amazon reportedly issued to recall faulty UK power adapters for some models. As quoted in the UK Daily Express and Daily Star newspaper websites, the Amazon warning states: “We have determined that, in rare cases, when the power adapter included with the UK Fire 7″ and UK Fire Kids Edition 7″ tablet is pulled from the socket, the adapter assembly may detach and create a risk of electrical shock.” According to the report, the warning refers only to devices sold from September 2015, with UK chargers carrying the model number FABK7B, and Amazon is asking customers to send in these chargers for free replacement.

Naturally, people need to take note of any such announcement. However, right now I haven’t found any further corroboration of this story – and the sources quoting it aren’t exactly the most reliable around. The reports do include a picture of the supposedly faulty Amazon charger, credited to Amazon, but a Google search for that model number turns up nothing, which is a bit surprising in the event of an urgent product safety recall. I’m also a little surprised that no other UK news outlet, so far at least, appears to have picked up the story. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place, but I would still recommend UK Fire users to actually check with Amazon before acting on the reports.

Amazon UK’s official Recalls & Product Safety policy states: “When we’re notified of a product recall by a retailer or a national or European authority, we stop selling the product as quickly as possible. We’ll also contact customers who have already purchased the item from us, by e-mail, to advise them of the measures put in place by the manufacturer or the authorities.” So perhaps any worried Amazon UK customer should wait for that email. You can’t be too careful – and that includes knowing who to believe.

Update: As you can see from the comments below, some UK Amazon customers have received the email identified in the newspaper reports. Presumably, only those with the charger serial number cited in the reports need worry. For them and anyone else, it’s worth remembering that an Amazon Fire will charge with any standard USB charger.


  1. Notice the size of that charger’s plug. The poor Brits are stuck with huge plugs for their little gadgets, while in the U.S. plugs those sizes restricted to high wattage devices such as clothing dryers. That and those over there have a more dangerous 220 volt standard. I assume that’s so they can get by with a smaller wire size. Being cheap that way comes with a cost. The huge size of that connector, which is often not that easy to pull out, may be a factor in these Amazon devices coming apart.

    Different countries get their standards right and wrong. One we got right in the U.S. are our electrical plugs. Even the larger ones come in a variety of shapes so someone can’t plug a 50-amp device into a 30-amp outlet.

    One we’re still getting wrong over here is Daylight Savings Time, but that could be easily remedied. The shift makes auto accidents in the sleep deprived more likely and is a real headache in hospitals. In the spring night nurses not only have to do eight hours of work in seven (or 12 in 11), they have to shift medication times. And adding insult to injury, after doing all that, they’re often only paid for seven hours.

    Europe couldn’t adopt the U.S. standards. 220 and 110 volts can be merged. But European could transition to something better that the current chaos. Make new outlets fit the new standards. Use adapters with the old until that can be converted. It would not be that hard to convert the outlets themselves either. We did a conversion to three-wire grounding outlets.

    Here’s the confusion:

    But given all Europe’s current woes, I suspect they don’t want to get into a squabble over something as petty as electric plugs. The pain they impose is mostly on travelers.

    • The really interesting thing here is that most electronic devices these days run on DC, not AC. All an adapter does is step down that AC and convert it to DC. Oddly enough, a lot of laptop adapters are perfectly functional on either 110 or 220—you just have to change out or plug a converter onto the end of the AC plug. (Dealt with that a lot when I was doing customer service/tech support for Best Buy.)

      • Through my travels, I have started seeing more hotels, airports, restaurants, planes with USB sockets. In a way I like the idea that I do not have to carry a plug with my device. I could just connect my USB cable into the socket. However, some are not very powerful and charging can take a long time.

        I have thought about installing these in my home but I also thought about what would happen in a few years time when they started to fail. I probably could not get an easy replacement and would need to pay an electrician to assist me. So far, all my devices have come with a plug so I always have one around.

        I have also seen sockets that can take any shape of plug, which is ideal for a tourist. The voltages vary between the 110V to 240V but most devices can handle any voltage these days, so these ‘international’ sockets are incredibly useful

        • Yeah. The thing that really puzzles me are some of the plug conversion kits you can get that warn they are not to be used for longer than 15 minutes at a time or they will burn out. I’m like, “What? But people use their own appliances over there for hours on end.”

  2. I got my email Wednesday, March 2, 2016 3:14 PM

    There have been draft suggestions for a new EU plug/socket standard but no one agreed about anything.

    US homes do have 220 volt supplies you know (driers, cookers and other heavy stuff).

    “Brit users are obsessed with kettles” (quote) so a 13 amp supply at 220 volts allows a 3000 watt element and corresponding fast boil but still with a reasonably flexible connecting cord.

    US consumers can’t have more than 1500 watts in the ordinary way.

  3. “it’s worth remembering that an Amazon Fire will charge with any standard USB charger.”

    But the Amazon charges twice as fast.

    I didn’t even unpack the one that was recalled because I was using the one that came with my big Fire HDX