Cheap goods not worth the risk

BUYING goods from the back of a van or a stranger in a pub could kill you, it was warned today.The message came from safety experts at Suffolk County Council's trading standards department who have uncovered a deadly trade in unsafe furniture which fails fire regulations and could kill in seconds.

BUYING goods from the back of a van or a stranger in a pub could kill you, it was warned today.

The message came from safety experts at Suffolk County Council's trading standards department who have uncovered a deadly trade in unsafe furniture which fails fire regulations and could kill in seconds.

Problems were highlighted following a tip-off from a consumer in Felixstowe who bought a suite in a pub for around £400.

The sofas, which are nothing more than infernos waiting to happen, are stuffed with materials which do not come anywhere near meeting fire regulations.


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To make it worse consumers are conned into thinking they are safe by fake fire safety labels attached to the furniture.

The warning comes just as many people are thinking of buying furniture in time for Christmas.

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Peter Monk, portfolio holder for public protection, said: "Having these rogue sofas in your home greatly increases the risk of having it engulfed in flames. Buying from the back of a van or from a pub is a dangerous move.

"It doesn't give you any of the protection that buying from a shop does.

"The people selling these sofas are knowingly putting your lives, your family and your home at risk – all for the privilege of paying them around £400."

Officers said that people could easily be hoodwinked because the furniture appeared to carry what looks like appropriate labels stating that they meet all fire regulation standards.

However, the labels on the sofas were counterfeit and tests had shown that the furniture was likely to go up in seconds if it caught fire.

Anyone needing further advice about items they may have bought recently can contact the trading standards advice line on 01473 264872.

Residents wanting to get rid of items should contact their district or borough council for collection of bulky rubbish. Some may charge for this service.

Do you have a story about dangerous goods? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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