Counterfeit iPhone chargers may be a cheaper alternative to Apple's products, but customers may suffer severe injuries or be risking their lives by using them, a UK charity has warned.

Electrical Safety First, which conducted a series of safety tests on fake iPhone chargers purchased in the UK, found that 98 per cent of the chargers tested could cause a fire or deliver a lethal electric shock, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Of the 50 brands tested, all but one failed one or more of the tests and more than one in three chargers failed every part of the safety screening - a worrying prospect for anyone who has purchased a replacement charger online.

In some cases the chargers came from sellers who claimed they were genuine Apple products.

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It is not the first survey of its kind to yield such concerning results. The US consumer product safety organisation, Underwriters Laboratory, tested 400 counterfeit and lookalike Apple chargers last year and found a 99 per cent failure rate.

Electrical Safety First also tested 14 EU chargers as part of this research. All 14 failed all of the safety tests in every respect.

"It is extremely concerning that 49 out of 50 UK chargers we tested failed basic safety checks," said Martyn Allen, technical director at Electrical Safety First.

"Anyone purchasing an iPhone charger from an online marketplace or at an independent discount store is taking a serious risk with their safety.

"The majority of chargers we tested had the potential to deliver a lethal electrical shock or cause a fire."

Apple has introduced wireless charging on the latest versions of its smartphone, the premium iPhone X and the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models.

It has not brought out its own branded charging pad yet, although several third-party chargers exist.