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Home Bargains guilty of selling unsafe chargers

Posted 10/02/17

National retailer TJ Morris Ltd, which trades as Home Bargains, has pleaded guilty to three electrical safety offences and ordered to pay £22,300 in fines and costs after selling thousands of unsafe chargers to consumers in 2015. The case was heard at Hull Magistrates Court last Friday, February 3. 

In October 2015 a shopper in Hull bought one of the dual USB chargers from a Home Bargains store in the city. During its first use, the device exploded and came apart, with the components visibly charred.

The company was notified of the exploding device in October 2015, but did not recall the product until January 2016 – after Trading Standards officers from Hull City Council had carried out five safety tests on the same product line, all of which failed.

The chargers were found to have been poorly designed and constructed, and were not able to protect consumers in the event of the device being overloaded. All samples provided failed to comply with Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations and were not marked with the manufacturer’s name.

TJ Morris Ltd was subsequently interviewed and produced a Chinese test certificate which indicated that a sample was compliant but that no further thorough tests had been carried out on the 38,000 items imported and offered for sale in Home Bargains shops nationwide.

Chris Wilson, head of Trading Standards, said: “Our officers acted swiftly when this incident was reported to them, carrying out detailed safety tests which identified that this item was completely unsafe and should not be on sale to the public.

“The fact that the retailer only removed these items from sale after our tests were carried out emphasises the essential role officers play in maintaining public safety. Fortunately, the person whose charger exploded was not hurt, but had the items continued to be sold there could have been very serious consequences. 

“Anyone with concerns about a product they have bought should contact Trading standards on: 01482 300 300”.

Images of product available on request. 

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For further information please contact:
Hannah Savage, Marketing and Media Officer for Public Health
Tel: 01482 613 167
Email: Hannah.savage@hullcc.gov.uk 

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