A company based in the northeast London town of Romford is facing a £1,000 fine after it was found to be selling faulty electric heaters which could have caused injuries or property damage.
London Europe Ltd, which trades as Home Stores in The Mall, was investigated by fair trading officers from Havering Council following a number of test purchases in early 2010.
Officers found that one product they bought on January 6th 2010, an HL-3 heater costing £8, was faulty, as was another of the same model purchased on February 4th 2010. A total of 24 heaters were seized on March 15th but only one model, the HL-5, passed safety tests.
The director of the firm, Osman Kaderia, was brought before Havering Magistrates Court on four charges of selling halogen heaters which had defective wiring. He was accused of violating both the Consumer Protection Act and the Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations Act, and of endangering both people and property.
Electrical engineer Dave Tingey, who gave evidence in the case, said:
“I found them [the heaters] to be unsafe. There was a risk of electric shock. There were risks and dangers involved with losing an earth connection.”
The company was found guilty of all charges and was ordered to pay £1,000 plus court costs of £4,114. If London Europe Ltd had a product liability insurance policy, it is likely that it would have been used to cover these costs.