Second hand electrical goods warning

Tuesday May 8th 2018

Midlothian Council Fairfield House Main

Midlothian Trading Standards are advising local people of the risks of buying second-hand electrical goods. They are also warning retailers against selling such goods unless they have been tested.

Many of us these days buy used products from charity shops, car boot sales and websites. However consumers need to be aware that faulty electrical goods can be dangerous and in the most serious cases can cause house fires. Everyday electrical goods and appliances, such as irons, televisions, washing machines, hair dryers and hair straighteners, can be a serious risk if their electrics are faulty. Commonly, cords frayed by wear and tear, can cause electric shocks or burns, so always check for exposed wires.

Sellers of second-hand electrical goods are responsible for ensuring that those goods meet legal safety requirements and it can be a criminal offence to sell unsafe goods. According to a recent survey by London Trading Standards, one in three second-hand retailers are selling goods that fail safety tests. Sellers can also be liable to pay compensation if they sell unsafe goods, which then cause injury or damage. They could face even more severe penalties, including possible imprisonment if the faulty goods result in serious injury or even death.

Consumers who can’t afford to buy brand new electrical items should always check with the shop or seller if Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) has been carried out. This tests the safety of electrical appliances and consumers should check that this has been done before purchasing any second-hand electrical goods.

Cllr Russell Imrie, Cabinet member with responsibility for Trading Standards warns consumers to be careful:

“I would advise the public to avoid buying second-hand electrical goods. If this isn’t possible then please make sure that you are buying from a reputable source and that items have been properly tested. Retailers that sell second-hand electrical goods must only sell appliances that have passed safety tests. If not, then they are risking lives. This is a serious matter that both consumers and retailers must be aware of.”

Anyone who suspects they may have bought unsafe goods or suspects unsafe goods are being offered for sale can contact Midlothian Trading Standards on 0131 271 3549.

Advice for retailers selling electrical products:

https://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/product-safety/second-hand-electrical-goods

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