Second hand shops checked for trading standards

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More than 90 second hand shops across the county were visited by officers from West Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards Service over the past 12 months to ensure that consumer safety is not being compromised.

The visits were a planned response to an identified area of consumer high risk.

Over 500 items were inspected, and just over half were found to have safety issues and were removed from sale.

The items ranged from electric lamps, to upholstered furniture, toys and cosmetics.

Inspections took place at both house clearance shops and charity shops and significant problems found included unsafe lamps and curling tongs.

During the inspections officers tested electrical appliances using a portable tester and carried out visual inspections of many other types of goods.

For example, toys were checked to see they still had the appropriate warnings about small parts that they had when new, to ensure continued safe use.

The Trading Standards Service says that whilst no-one expects second hand goods to be “as new” in terms of performance and appearance, they do have to be “as new” when it comes to safety and this includes having the necessary instructions and warnings to keep those using them safe.

Lionel Barnard, West Sussex Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services who is responsible for the Trading Standards service, said: “It is important that consumers can be confident in what they buy from every kind of retailer.

“Where problems were found the County Council provided formal advice on how to ensure the products they sold were safe.

“Follow up visits were made to the shops that caused the officers most concern, and they found the advice had been followed and no further unsafe items were found on sale, which is heartening.”