The danger of fire and personal injury caused by faulty or ill-maintained domestic electrical goods is ever-present in today’s appliance-driven homes.
Day five of London Trading Standards Week is focused on how trading standards officers can help prevent people being killed or injured by unsafe domestic goods.
Croydon’s trading standards team has contacted all known retailers of second-hand electrical goods, offering advice on the law relating to the safety of electrical products, and checking what measures retailers are taking to ensure that the products they are selling are safe. Each of the visited premises will receive a follow-up visit.
Additional to advising retailers, the team hosts regular testing events, to which residents take electrical appliances – such as heated rollers, vacuum cleaners, kettles, irons, toasters and electric blankets – the safety of which are assessed by qualified technicians.
Past events have seen a large number of items fail the safety tests. Many of the failures were due to age, with older blankets being particularly hazardous as they do not have modern built-in safety features, making them potentially lethal.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“The results of our electrical safety-check days can be quite alarming. People tend to carry on using appliances that are unsafe in one form or another – frayed wiring, a broken plug, outdated features – unaware of the danger to which they’re exposing themselves, and others.
“Buying second-hand goods can be appealing if finances are tight, so it’s always wisest to have anything you’re thinking of buying – particularly with the recent scares around tumble dryers – checked by a qualified electrician.
“Our trading standards team does a fantastic job in working to protect Croydon’s consumers but they can’t be everywhere, checking everything – we need all consumers to be vigilant.”
The council’s trading standards team recommends that, to find a reputable electrician, residents should use a website such as www.trustmark.org.uk or http://trustedtraders.which.co.uk to find traders who are vetted and approved by an independent body, such as trading standards.
Don’t rely on websites offering only recommendations by people you don’t know and cannot contact, or that the business pays a fee to join. Electricians’ businesses can be checked at www.niceic.com/Page/SearchContractors
The aim of London Trading Standards Week is to promote and raise awareness about the wide range of work carried out by trading standards services across London. Further details about the rest of the campaign can be found on the website, www.londontradingstandards.org.uk. #LTS Week
For more information, follow LTS on Twitter (@London_T_S), or visit www.londontradingstandards.org.uk