Eaton and IEC Survey Finds Growing Awareness of Dangers of Counterfeit Electrical Products Among IEC Members

Power management company Eaton and the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) today announced results from a joint survey of IEC members that validates the importance of educational campaigns focusing on the dangers and prevalence of counterfeit electrical products. The survey results indicate that educational programs are helping to increase awareness of the dangers of counterfeit products and providing the tools needed to make informed purchasing decisions, key learnings that will help increase electrical safety. The results also reveal that more work is needed to share best practices and encourage collaboration in order to thwart counterfeiting.

“The first step to tackling any issue is building awareness and an understanding of why it is important,” said Thayer Long, executive vice president and chief executive officer, IEC National. “Our anti-counterfeiting efforts with Eaton have not only raised awareness of the dangers of counterfeit electrical products, but have also helped the industry and consumers understand the ways to avoid such products. We are encouraged by the high-level of knowledge our members have, but we must continue our efforts.”

The value of consumer safety and critical technology products seized by U.S. Customs and Border Control increased by 143 percent from 2011 to 2012. Eaton, IEC and other industry collaborators are working to provide electrical contractors with better tools to recognize and report these products and help identify potential counterfeit product supply chains.

The survey, created to identify the current state of awareness around counterfeit electrical products, shows where educational campaigns have been successful. Members understand the potential safety dangers of counterfeit products, the sophistication of counterfeiters that makes it difficult to identify a counterfeit electrical product, and how to avoid such products by purchasing directly from the manufacturer’s authorized distributors or resellers.

“Electrical contractors are recognizing the prevalence and dangers of counterfeits in the industry,” said Tom Grace, brand protection manager, Eaton’s Electrical Sector Americas. “Now we need to up our game and provide contractors with easier ways to properly report counterfeit products and build collaboration between manufacturers, industry organizations and government.”

Complete results of the survey can be found at

While IEC members are educated on the dangers of counterfeit electrical products, survey results also show that such products continue to be found in the field and that additional education is needed. A vast majority of respondents acknowledge that if they encounter a product they suspect to be counterfeit, they do not know where and how to report it.

More education is needed to raise awareness among those who could potentially identify a counterfeit, encouraging them to contact the brand owner. This will allow authentication of the suspect product and ensure that the potentially unsafe product is removed from the market place. Contact Eaton at

Eaton is committed to stopping counterfeiting of electrical products worldwide. Its electrical business is committed to anti-counterfeiting technologies and programs. For additional information about the dangers counterfeit electrical products, please visit Eaton’s site at

Eaton is a Platinum Level Industry Partner of IEC National. IEC is the premier association for merit shop electrical and systems contractors. Through various partnerships and initiatives, IEC is committed to providing safety tools for its members. For more information, visit

Eaton is a power management company with 2013 sales of $22.0 billion. Eaton provides energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton has approximately 102,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, vi