A Lincolnshire-based garden centre faces hefty penalties after selling unsafe scatter cushions, highlighting the critical importance of fire safety regulations in household products.

08 February 2024

A Lincolnshire-based company operating a garden centre in East Yorkshire has found itself in legal trouble, with an £18,000 fine imposed for the sale of hazardous scatter cushions. The penalty stems from a case pursued by East Riding of Yorkshire Council trading standards following a routine inspection conducted at Hornsea Garden Centre in April last year.

During the inspection, authorities identified two scatter cushions lacking proper labelling, prompting further inspection. Subsequent visits led to the removal of an additional 118 cushions for testing. Results revealed that the cushions posed a significant fire risk, leading to concerns regarding public safety.

Woodthorpe Hall Garden Centres Ltd, the company responsible for the garden centre, appeared before Beverley Magistrates' Court on 31 January, where a representative pleaded guilty to six charges related to breaching fire safety regulations. Each charge incurred a fine of £3,000, alongside additional costs totalling £4,854 and a victim surcharge of £2,000. Furthermore, the unsafe cushions were forfeited and subsequently destroyed.

Officials overseeing the case highlighted the severity of the situation, emphasising that all samples of the cushions, designed for indoor use, had failed flammability testing. Daniel Padgham, trading standards manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, condemned the company's negligence, stating, "These cushions were very dangerous and posed a serious fire risk to those who had bought them."

Padgham also underscored the importance of adhering to safety regulations, particularly in items such as cushions and soft furnishings commonly found in households. He urged consumers to verify the presence of correct safety labels on such products to ensure their homes remain safe environments.

The significant fine imposed against Woodthorpe Hall Garden Centres Ltd serves as a reminder of the legal obligations businesses bear in ensuring the safety of their products.

View the SOURCE here.

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