The ESC’s Product Safety Unit recently put a range of electrical health and beauty products to the test and found a number wanting in the safety department. It has also undertaken regular testing of chargers – a necessary ‘add-on’ for most electrical gifts – many of which were found to be unsafe.
“Electrical grooming products are always popular Christmas presents but shoppers need to make sure that they are not only buying goods from reputable sellers but that the product and its accessories are safe”, explains Phil Buckle, Director General of the ESC. “In recent tests, we found only one item without any issues or faults”.
The ESC tested a total of 17 products, which included a selection of hair clippers, curling tongs, hair dryers, massage devices and hair straighteners. Only one of these items (a hair clipper) passed the test programme with no concerns or defects noted.
Product problems ranged from loose live pins in a fitted plug, dangerous parts becoming accessible when the product was dropped, insufficient electrical insulation for protection against live parts and a lack of proper information in the manufacturers’ instructions.
Although some issues were fairly minor, such as imperfect user guides, others were much more serious. For example, one of the hair straighteners purchased was still dangerously hot – 115oC - five minutes after being unplugged. This not only poses a fire risk but could also cause a serious burn or injury, particularly to children.