Christmas shoppers are being warned to take extra care that any electrical goods they buy are safe and will not put the recipient in danger.
The London Fire Brigade has joined forces with the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) to highlight how some items still on sale have been recalled by manufacturers for safety reasons.
Shoppers are being urged to check an online database of recalled electrical goods which includes many popular Christmas purchases including radio controlled toys, hair straighteners, nodding reindeer silhouettes and flashing Santa hats.
The database includes the name, brand, model number and recall date, as well as the risk posed by the item and is accessible via the Brigade’s website.
Shoppers who have already bought a product included in the database should return it to the retailer immediately.
The ESC says that the “average” return rate after a product recall is between 10-20% meaning there are “potentially millions” of dangerous items still in use.
The Fire Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner Steve Turek said: “The vast majority of electrical goods are manufactured to very high safety standards but where electrical products have been recalled they can often present a very real risk of electrical fire to householders.
“If you have bought someone an electrical gadget for Christmas or even treated yourself to a flashing Santa hat and you think there might be a problem with it you can check the Electrical Safety Council’s database on our website to see whether that product has been recalled by the manufacturer.”
Emma Apter from the Electrical Safety Council said: “We know that returning a recalled product is not always convenient, especially if it’s an item that you use every day, but recall notices are issued to keep consumers safe.
“The small inconvenience of returning a recalled item is worth it when you consider that faulty products can electrocute or cause a fire.’