WATCH Dangerous fake fire blankets get tested by trading standards are hundreds seized in Felixstowe
PUBLISHED: 16:22 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:22 23 August 2018
Trading standards officers have helped to seize 400 potentially dangerous fire blankets that were being brought to Britain through the Port of Felixstowe.
The items were initially seized at the port by Suffolk imports surveillance officers, part of the national trading standards safety at ports and borders team.
Once confiscated by Trading Standards, the blankets’ potentially counterfeit status became clear as they did not display the correct British Standard number and on closer inspection, were clearly of poor quality.
Fire blankets are often found in kitchens, cafes and offices and are used to smother small fires or to wrap around people. They work by starving the fire of oxygen, which puts out the flames.
One of the confiscated blankets was put to the test by Suffolk Trading Standards and the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service in a controlled demonstration. It was no surprise that this blanket did not work as expected, it failed to extinguish the fire and gave off potentially dangerous fumes.
Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “I’m disappointed that people think it is acceptable to manufacture and sell these counterfeit products.
“It shows a complete disregard for the lives of people who put their faith in these items, having bought them for emergency situations.
“The excellent work of our trading standards and safety at ports and borders teams means that people’s lives and properties are safe from these dubious products.”
Lord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards added: “This seizure clearly demonstrates the crucial work that the team and Suffolk Trading Standards do.
“Had these fire blankets reached the market it is appalling to imagine what could have happened. It is no exaggeration to say that lives may well have been saved by our officers making this seizure.”
Suffolk advises that fire blankets should only be purchased from a reputable retailer and should display the British Standard number or Kitemark.
A genuine seller will always be able to provide you with more information about their products. Counterfeit items often contain poor grammar and spelling mistakes in their instructions.