- Dangerous Carbon Monoxide Alarms Sold Online, Warns Consumer Watchdog
- Multiple Online Platforms Found Selling Ineffective CO Detectors
- Urgent Action Needed to Ensure Accountability and Consumer Safety
Which? has warned that dangerous carbon monoxide alarms are being sold online.
Ten out of twenty-eight experiments failed to detect carbon monoxide, and even when they did, the alarm was too quiet.
On four websites, 149 listings for potentially hazardous carbon monoxide alarms were discovered, and they have all been removed.
Five dangerous alarm models, all of which were unbranded and manufactured in China, were conspicuously displayed on these websites when the “cheapest first” filter was selected, with some being sold for as little as £5.
One alarm failed 22 times and another 15 times when carbon monoxide was detected.
Sue Davies, the head of consumer protection policy at the watchdog, stated, “Which? has raised concerns about dangerous CO alarms for years, yet online marketplaces continue to allow them onto their sites and into people’s homes, despite the potentially fatal consequences.”
“This is the latest in a long series of examples of unsafe products being readily available on online marketplaces, with platforms taking insufficient measures to prevent their sale.
“The government must act immediately. Also it must promptly implement and enforce new consumer safety measures against online markets that violate them.”
Following the death of their daughter from carbon monoxide inhalation in 2010, Avril and Gordon Samuel established the Katie Haines Memorial Trust and have been campaigning for increased awareness.
Avril stated, “We have previously raised concerns about some online-sold carbon monoxide alarms, many of which originate in China, and have vigorously advocated for the purchase of CO alarms only from reputable manufacturers and retailers.”
She added, “If the alarm is subpar, this defense is rendered ineffective, which could have fatal consequences.”
Also a spokesperson for Amazon stated, “Safety is our primary priority. We have developed industry-leading tools to prevent hazardous or non-compliant products from being sold on our website.
“We have temporarily removed these products pending further investigation.”
A spokesperson for eBay stated, “We take the safety of our users very seriously and promptly removed the listings that Which?”
We prohibit unbranded and hazardous carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. And we only permit vendors to list approved carbon monoxide detector brands, and we have taken action against sellers who violated this policy.
“We evaluate and update the measures in place to prevent the sale of unsafe products on an ongoing basis. In addition, we have conducted additional site-wide searches to eradicate any duplicate listings.”
A spokesman for the Department of Business and Trade stated, “We take public safety extremely seriously, which is why we are consulting on modernizing our product safety framework to hold online marketplaces accountable and ensure that items sold online adhere to the same standards as those sold on the high street.”