Hundreds of lives are at risk because online marketplaces such as eBay sell dangerous smoke detectors that do not detect a fire, experts warn
- Which? Research showed that four devices could not detect any house fires at all
- 171 of the cheapest 500 mentions for smoke detectors on eBay were alarms that failed
- The devices were unbranded, made in China and sold through Chinese resellers
Hundreds of dangerous smoke detectors that do not detect fires are sold on eBay and Wish, according to a consumer watchdog.
A Which one? investigation showed that four smoke detectors listed on the store sites did not sound in the house fire test.
The devices, one of the most popular and affordable online, are useless in real fire scenarios and endanger lives, the probe found.
The alarms were 171 of the cheapest 500 mentions for smoke detectors on eBay.
On Wish.com there were 28 of the 200 entries for three of the alarms that did not detect smoke at all during the tests.
Hundreds of dangerous smoke detectors that do not detect a fire like this are sold online online. They are unbranded, made in China and sold through Chinese resellers
An investigation by Which? found four smoke detectors, including this one, on Ebay and Wish.com not to sound in every house fire test
All devices were unbranded, made in China and sold through Chinese resellers.
Two came with instructions that were not in English, which means that the product cannot be lawfully sold in the UK.
Three of the alarms were CE marked, suggesting that consumers can legally sell in the UK and must meet all safety standards.
Which? researchers analyzed how the devices responded to a large number of different house fire scenarios.
They set each alarm in a fire room with smoke from four separate fires.
The fires are made from materials that would be present in a house fire, including wood, cotton, plastics and solvents.
Researchers analyzed how the devices responded to a large number of different fire scenarios. All four, including this one, failed to detect smoke in every fire test
Three of the faulty alarms were CE marked, suggesting that consumers can legally sell in the UK and meet all safety standards
Auction site eBay has since removed offers for alarms that did not detect any smoke during the tests.
It is the second time in a year that eBay has found dangerous smoke detectors on its site.
In 2018, the online marketplace removed 100 entries for smoke reports that did not meet seven of the eight fire tests conducted by Which?
But 60 reports of the alarms appeared to be on the site again in May of this year.
Which? said it believed that eBay did not take its customers' safety seriously and reported the findings to Office for Product.
Natalie Hitchins, head of home products and services at Which, said: & # 39; It is extremely worrying that eBay and Wish offer smoke reports that simply do not work, which could endanger people's lives in the event of a fire .
& # 39; Anyone who has marked one of the products must immediately stop using it.
& # 39; eBay and Wish must take their customers' security more seriously and prevent these alarms from ending up on their sites.
& # 39; eBay customers will be shocked when they see that offers for some unsafe alarms just reappear on the site after they have been deleted.
& # 39; The safety of products purchased in some online market places is becoming increasingly worrying. & # 39;
An eBay spokesperson confirmed that the listings were deleted after the tests.
She added: “Customer safety is our top priority and we work closely with agencies such as marketing standards to ensure that listings sold on our market comply with the law.
Wish.com said it was & # 39; grateful & # 39; was that they were aware of the defective devices.
A spokesperson said: “As a marketplace with more than two billion products, we look to our community to help us ensure that our products meet the standard that customers expect.
& # 39; We are grateful to Which? for warning us of this problem and looking forward to consumer needs.
& # 39; We are working to remove these products from the platform and follow up the relevant traders to ensure that they comply with local laws and regulations. & # 39;
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