18 April 2016

A company has been fined after admitting supplying heaters that posed a risk of fire and electric shock following an investigation by Trading Standards.

The court heard how Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards bought two of the heaters from a shop in Kingsthorpe for £9.99 each in January 2015 after receiving a complaint from a consumer.

faulty heater

Safety tests

Subsequent safety tests found the heaters failed in eight areas, including resistance to heat and fire and protection from live electrical parts.

A product safety recall was issued in April last year.

In addition to the serious safety issues the heaters were also described as being halogen when the heating elements actually only consisted of a conventional heating coil.

Bonnington Plastics, based in Nottingham, admitted two offences relating to the safety and description of the product during a hearing at Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday 11th April.

Bonnington Plastics was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs totalling £1,800.

County council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage said: “This company failed to demonstrate adequate due diligence in terms of electrical and fire safety and the safety of its customers.

“This is a great result for our Trading Standards team and demonstrates our commitment to tackling unsafe business practices.

“Anyone who has concerns about the safety of a product can contact Northamptonshire Trading Standards by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.”

Electrical safety

Martyn Allen, of Electrical Safety First, part of the Electrical Safety Council, said: “The Northamptonshire Trading Standards investigation again highlights the risk of substandard electrical products failing prematurely or overheating and causing electric shocks or even fires.

“Over 300 different electrical products have been recalled in the UK in the last five years. Faulty appliances alone cause £41.6million of damage in the UK every year and around 46 deaths are caused annually by electrical fires.

“We urge suppliers to be cognisant of their legal obligations to be diligent in ensuring that they sell safe electrical products only, and for the public to keep their families and homes safe by making a habit of registering a new product as soon as they get it home.

“An unregistered appliance can be a hidden danger in homes as it’s difficult for manufacturers to trace them.”