A number of illegal electric heaters posing “serious harm” to those who use them are being sold on Amazon and eBay. That is according to an investigation conducted by experts at Which? who found the dangerous devices risk causing fires.
It comes at a time when people in the UK are on the lookout for cheaper ways to heat up their homes due to soaring energy bills amid a crippling cost of living crisis. Popularity of electric heaters as a result has skyrocketed as they are traditionally energy efficient and cost effective to run.
Which? is calling on government officials to bring in extra measures and legislation to strengthen product safety and give online marketplaces a legal responsibility for selling unsafe products.
A total of 10 plug-in electric heaters were tested as a part of the Which? investigation. Each one failed safety tests and have been branded illegal to sell in the UK, posing a risk of electrical shock and causing fire.
Three of the products are popular electric heaters sold on eBay, while one is being marketed on Amazon. Which? found all four pose “serious harm” to consumers.
Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said in a statement: “Our latest research has uncovered plug-in mini heaters that are illegal and could cause serious harm to consumers – showing the clear failures of online platforms to eradicate unsafe products, fake reviews and dodgy adverts, which have all contributed to promoting dangerous products that end up in people’s homes.”
An Amazon spokesperson said: “Safety is a top priority at Amazon and we require all products offered in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations. Two products were removed in December, including one in relation to safety concerns, and we have proactively removed similar items and introduced measures to prevent new products going on sale.
“We have removed the remaining two products while we investigate. If customers have concerns about an item they’ve purchased, we encourage them to contact us directly so we can investigate and take appropriate action.”
eBay has yet to respond.