Council operation stops sale of fire risk cushions

A significant quantity of potential fire-risk cushions have been taken off the shelves by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Trading Standards team.

Fire-risk cushionThe shipment of cushions was believed to be non-compliant with flammability requirements. The batch was uncovered as part of the team’s current safety project identifying unknown (often smaller scale) importers. It is generally the case that importers are unaware of the safety implications or their responsibilities in relation to the products they import.  

The image shows the extent to which such products could be involved in domestic fires, with potentially devastating consequences. Partners in Scottish Fire & Rescue Service have already been made aware.

Further inspections of importers will continue across Edinburgh to make sure products meet safety standards over the busy festive period.

Community Safety Leader, Councillor Joan Griffiths, said: “These recoveries are a fantastic result for our Trading Standards team who work hard to identify and tackle unsafe products. Stopping such products reaching consumers in Edinburgh and beyond is a testament to their proactive strategy. 

“The investigation began after receiving a referral from another trading standards department who had checked suspect products at the border and alerted our team; an excellent example of how teams are working together to tackle the issue.” 

This stock is currently suspended from supply and will be destroyed safely pending further enquiries. The importer is cooperating fully with the Trading Standards team.

Group Manager David Girrity, who is the Prevention & Protection Manager for the Scottish Fire Rescue Service within the city of Edinburgh, said:

“The Scottish Fire Rescue Service is committed to working with partners in ensuring that our communities are aware of the risk of fire. This investigation and discovery by Trading Standards once again highlights the need for a proactive and holistic approach to raising awareness and reducing fire risk within our communities.

“We would urge members of the public to be extra vigilant when purchasing goods such as cushions and upholstered furniture. The fire risks posed by materials and goods that have not been manufactured in accordance with recognised standards or legislation can have a devastating effect upon lives and property. Should you have concerns regarding products you may have purchased or considering, please contact our partners at Edinburgh’s Trading Standards”.

Product awareness:

Cushions should have a permanent label on the inside. 
Consumers should check any such items, and report any suspect products to their local trading standards team. These have been imported directly from China, and therefore it is possible that other small retailers may have the same or similar products.

Anyone who suspects they may have purchased similar products in Edinburgh should contact Edinburgh's Trading Standards team on 0131 608 1100 for more information.

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