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Faulty smoke alarms sold online risking lives

05 June 2019

THE NATIONAL Fire Chiefs Council has been made aware of faulty smoke alarms being sold on popular marketplaces online.

Tests carried out by Which? found that four smoke alarms sold to the public online failed all eight of their tests.  The four alarms were sold under hundreds of different listings online and were very cheap costing less than five pounds.

NFCC urges people to check if they have purchased any of the unsafe smoke alarms and to replace them immediately as they are unreliable and will not alert you in the event of a fire. A list of the smoke alarms that failed the tests is available here: https://tinyurl.com/yxfyrxp5

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.

“I urge people to buy fire safety devices for their homes from reputable companies and to buy products that carry product safety symbols such as the British Standards Kitemark. It is not worth risking the lives of your loved ones by buying cheaper products online.”

At least one smoke alarm should be fitted on each level of a home and these should be checked regularly. Fire and Rescue Services provide guidance on their websites and offer home safety checks - if you are interested, please contact your local fire service.

If you think you have purchased one of these faulty devices, please inform your local Trading Standards office.

Which? will be passing their findings on to the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).

NFCC would like to thank Which? for their work in keeping communities safer from fire.