The Which? consumer group has warned to exercise caution when buying Christmas lights from marketplaces online.
The organisation discovered 6 out of the 13 sets bought and safety tested failed to meet requirements. Two sets of lights overheated to the extent that they melted and others had the potential to cause users electric shocks.
The consumer watchdog recommended buyers only purchase from established retailers. It conducted a survey of lights bought on the High Street, and all passed electrical safety tests.
Head of home products and services for Which?, Natalie Hitchins, said:
“Many of the cheap and seemingly cheerful Christmas lights we’ve tested from online marketplaces simply aren’t safe.”
Which? Is encouraging the government to ensure safety is a priority and put legal responsibility onto marketplaces to stop unsafe products being sold via their sites.
National Trading Standards has also advised shoppers to exercise caution regarding where electrical items are purchased, commenting:
“It is better to spend a bit more and get them from a reputable trader, than to buy something which could be unsafe and potentially cause a fire or electrocution.”
Presently, those importing an electrical item with the aim of supplying it to a UK customer are legally responsible for making sure it complies fully with safety regulations. Failure to supply safe goods could result in prosecution according to National Trading Standards.
To prevent accidents and injuries from electrical goods, all products should be tested by a qualified expert and be officially stamped with the appropriate Safety Standard.