Suffolk Trading Standards imports surveillance team has seized more than 300 potentially deadly electrical heaters that were due to be sold on Amazon.
The heaters were intercepted at Felixstowe, the UK’s biggest container port. The devices were found to pose a serious risk of electrocution, with easily exposed hazardous parts and voltage requirements incompatible with the UK power network.
Graham Crisp, head of Suffolk Trading Standards, said: “These unsafe heaters were due to be sold via Amazon but, thanks to the intervention of our imports surveillance team, the listing has now been removed, saving shoppers from unwittingly putting themselves at risk.
“We know that the cost of living is concerning for most, and many people may be more tempted than ever before to turn to products that seem to offer a good deal. Unfortunately, bargain purchases can leave you paying the ultimate price, with these increasing the risk of fire, serious injury or even death,” he added.
“Everyone can keep themselves safe by only shopping at reputable retailers and checking that anything they’ve bought meets safety standards.”
Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public health and protection, said: “I am incredibly grateful to Suffolk Trading Standards for their continued work to protect consumers by intercepting harmful products at the port before these can enter the UK’s marketplace.
“Even legitimate heaters can pose a fire risk if not used sensibly, so I would urge all Suffolk residents to follow safety precautions when heating their homes during the colder temperatures forecast across the county over the next few days.
“Heaters shouldn’t be used for drying clothes and must always be kept away from curtains and furniture. In addition, heaters should never be plugged into an extension lead, which could easily overheat and go up in flames, potentially endangering both people and property.”
The popularity of electric heaters has increased significantly since energy costs rose sharply last year, with a recent survey carried out by Electrical Safety First finding that 22% of respondents had purchased a heater during the past year, often from an online marketplace.