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18 Dec 20201 minute read

ESF Bill to safeguard online shoppers

ECAtoday
ESF Bill to safeguard online shoppers

Electrical consumer protection charity Electrical Safety First has proposed a new Bill to make online marketplaces – such as Amazon and eBay – legally responsible for hosting listings of potentially lethal electrical products for sale. It would ensure they have the same responsibilities to protect consumers from unsafe products as High Street retailers.

In multiple investigations[i], Electrical Safety First has found electrical products - presenting a serious fire risk - are easily available from third party sellers via online marketplaces. Currently, online marketplaces are not required to inform consumers if they have purchased a substandard electrical product from their site, which leaves thousands unaware of the potential fire and safety risk they have in their home.

Lesley Rudd, Chief Executive of Electrical Safety First, said, “We campaigned strongly for the Government’s Online Harms Bill to include dangerous electricals available online. We believe ‘harm’ goes beyond the Government’s definition, because counterfeit or substandard electrical products can have a life-changing impact.

“Electricity is responsible for around half of all fires in UK homes, with most arising from electrical products. Our 2020 annual survey found almost one in four consumers bought what they thought was a genuine electrical item online, from a third-party seller, and then discovered it was fake. We also found that one in 10 adults have first-hand experience of an electrical shock, or fire, from an electrical item bought online.”

For more information visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk