PAT Testing News Round-Up - Issue 41
17th December 2014
This issue covers:
- Landlord fined for safety failings
- Electrical Safety First supports electrical product recall review
- Don’t let electrical problems ruin Christmas
- £90 million of counterfeit Christmas presents could put lives at risk
- Christmas opening hours
A UK landlord has been hit with a £15,000 fine after being found guilty of safety and welfare offences.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that the landlord had repeatedly failed to carry out upgrade works relating to fire safety, heating and kitchen facilities at a large bedsit property, which he was operating as a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
The council issued a HMO licence which asked for work to be carried out for tenants’ safety, but the requests were ignored and the landlord also failed in his duty to produce certification relating to the electrical safety of the property.
A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “As our recent conference for landlords showed, there is a wide range of help and support available for landlords to make sure they can meet the rules and regulations that keep both tenants and them safe. This prosecution shows how seriously we take it when landlords fail to play by the rules.”
The landlord was fined £1,000 for each of the twelve offences and ordered to pay £3,000 costs.
Full story at www.batleynews.co.uk
It is becoming increasingly recognised that periodic portable appliance inspection and testing programmes performs an important role in recognising potentially dangerous electrical equipment that has been the subject of recall notices by manufacturers.
The charity Electrical Safety First has long campaigned about the inefficiencies of the product recall system and recently commented on this in relation to the Consumer Rights Bill which has just concluded its report stage in the House of Lords.
Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First, said: “The Consumer Rights Bill is the most radical shake-up of consumer legislation to take place in three decades. We were disappointed that our proposed amendment – which ‘closed the gap’ between faults that manufacturers and suppliers of electrical goods know about and what consumers are aware of – has not been incorporated into the Bill.
“However, we are delighted that our concerns have been noted and that a review of the product recall system will now take place.”
The amendment proposed by Electrical Safety First was designed to increase transparency, by requiring manufacturers, retailers and distributors, to provide specific details, such as the number of people affected by a recalled item (either through injury or damage to property).
It also called for detailed information regarding a recalled item to be displayed, on both the website of the relevant government department and enforcement agencies. More at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk
Christmas tree lights are a popular part of festive season decorations – but health and safety organisations have all warned about the dangers posed by faulty fairy lights.
RoSPA, the Fire and Rescue Service and the Electrical Safety First are among those organisations that have published special advice and tips to ensure that the electrical shock and fire hazards associated with Christmas lights are avoided.
Once a year, these twinkling fairy lights and colourful Christmas illuminations are often retrieved from damp, dusty storage spaces to decorate homes for the festive season - but, poorly stored, old electrical decorations and overloaded sockets can create unnecessary hazards at this time of year.
Watch a consequential fire safety video at www.youtube.com.
Trading Standards warn against buying counterfeit goods, telling shoppers 'if the price seems too good to be true, it normally is'.
Britons spend £90 million a year on counterfeit toys and goods for Christmas that could put lives at risk, a government watchdog has warned.
Some £22 billion is likely to be spent on Christmas by UK households this year, and officials are warning of the dangers of shoppers picking up bogus goods as they look to bag a bargain and ease the financial strain.
In 2013/14 customs officials detained 21,000 consignments of fake goods at UK borders. In one operation, almost 170,000 dangerous and counterfeit goods were stopped from entering the UK by border staff at Dover Docks last month, one of the area's biggest ever hauls.
Around 3,000 Christmas lights that were not properly insulated and could have caused electric shocks were seized, along with almost 5,500 counterfeit toys. The rest of the goods were sent back to China after they were found not to confirm with European standards.
With Christmas looming, the public are being warned to be aware of some of the most common fake goods – make-up, toys and clothes, alcohol and electrical goods, all of which can pose a serious danger.
Missing and poor-quality components in counterfeit electrical goods can lead to electric shocks, fires and explosions, while fake children's toys and clothes can pose hazards through dangerous small parts, long cords or from toxic materials.
Phil Buckle, director general at electricity safety awareness organisation Electrical Safety First, added: ''This Christmas, when buying your presents, don't give the kiss of death – avoid fakes and celebrate safely. ''We understand that cheaper products can always be tempting but if it turns out to be counterfeit or substandard, then it could be putting you or a loved one at risk. With half of all house fires caused by faulty electrical goods, buying a knock-off product can be a cost too high to pay.''
Gavin Terry, the Trading Standards Institute’s lead officer for intellectual property said, “While counterfeit goods such as CDs and DVDs can easily be produced at home, the main source for counterfeit toys and electrical products is China and the Far East, with items being imported through Europe by criminal gangs.
More at www.telegraph.co.uk
We would like to make you aware as early as possible about our reduced working hours over December and January.
Seaward Group’s Christmas party is taking place today, 19th of December. Staff will only be available until approximately 11.30am. Seaward officially break up for Christmas on Wednesday, 24th of December, and do not return until Monday, 5th of January.
Season's Greetings to everyone.
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