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28 May 2019
Dangerous smoke alarms being sold on pupular shopping sites on the web have been criticised by the National Fire Chiefs Council following an investigation by consumer advocates, Which?
The four alarms failed all tests and were bought for less than £5 each from eBay and Wish, acccording to the Which? researchers. Three of them have the CE safety mark.
They claim that "on test and under lab conditions, each of the alarms failed to detect smoke eight times out of eight during four different test fires. Following pressure from us, almost 200 listings for these dangerous alarms have been removed from the two sites."
Which? claim that other similar or apparently identical models are avilable from other sources. All of them are made in China and cost only a few pounds.
The NFCC says, "It is essential fire safety products are accredited and tested to the latest European and British Standards, which ensure they are reliable to use. NFCC advises people to buy smoke alarms from reputable companies and to look out for safety marks such as the British Standards Kitemark and Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB). These may cost more than cheap alarms sold online, but they can be trusted to keep people safe at home.
NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher said, "People trust online companies to ensure the products they buy from them are safe. The lives of those people - and the lives of their families - who have unknowingly purchased unsafe smoke alarms online are in danger and efforts should be made to contact them to inform them of the latest findings immediately.
“It is deeply concerning that three of the four faulty smoke alarms carried the CE safety standards mark."
Which? list the details of the four failing alarms on their website and say they are passing their test results to the Office for Product Safety and Standards.