Second hand electrical retailers around Nottingham have been visited by Nottingham City Council Trading Standards this week to check that they are not putting local households at risk.
Work on the project is ongoing, but results so far show that local businesses do not have adequate systems in place to ensure that they are taking all reasonable steps to prevent the supply of unsafe appliances.
In Nottinghamshire, the most recent figures available (March 2018), record 294 fires in the preceding year caused by electrical appliances, with the highest number of fires caused by kitchen appliances. These statistics, along with high profile fires such as Grenfell and Shepherd’s Bush Green caused by electrical goods, have led to the clean-up operation by Nottingham City Council Trading Standards.
Advice has been given to local businesses to enable them to make necessary improvements and repeat visits will be carried out to make sure that the advice has been followed.
Businesses selling second-hand electrical goods must only sell appliances that have passed safety tests. Goods should be checked to ensure live parts are not exposed, wires are not frayed, and that clearance distances are within regulations. To keep track of the quality and safety of all goods before they are supplied to consumers, businesses should have a system of control in place and the system should be monitored and reviewed, with documentation to show the reasonable steps taken to prevent dangerous products being supplied to consumers.
Portfolio Holder for Community Protection, Cllr Toby Neal, said: “This work by Trading Standards is really important to help keep local people safe. By checking the marketplace to take dangerous goods off sale and reminding traders of their responsibilities, we are lowering the chances of faulty appliances causing in fires in local households.”
Consumers looking to buy household electrical goods are advised to take extra care with second-hand appliances; ensure they have been safety checked and are not listed on the product recall register. Look at the general condition of the appliance and in particular, for any damage to the appliance casing and/ or exposed wires. Also, check that a flexible cable and UK plug is securely attached to the appliance, without signs of deterioration.
Check if your appliances are on the product recall list by searching on www.productrecall.campaign.gov.uk.
If you are concerned about the safety of a product, stop using it and contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 for advice and to make your concern known to Trading Standards.