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Halifax warns on second-hand goods

15 September 2006
A considerable number of electrical goods sold second hand are faulty and therefore potentially dangerous, according to a new report.

Halifax's new study found that more than one in four used electric items purchased through car boot sales and online auctions, with damaged flexes and defective wiring the main problems that were discovered.

This is a worrying trend, given that 2,500 Brits are killed or badly injured every year in electrical fires, which also account for one out of every five home insurance claims Halifax receives.

Senior underwriter Vicky Emmott warned: "We're concerned that the nation's renewed appetite of making money out of old items could lead to a slide in electrical safety standards.

"We are calling on anyone buying or selling second-hand electrical items to ensure that the goods meet the required safety standards. Failure to do so could not only leave the sellers open to prosecution but cause damage to the users' home and put lives as risk."

When buying electrical equipment, householders are advised to ask the seller for proof that the item is safe to use and look for a indicator of its reliability, such as a CE mark.

Meanwhile, vendors of used equipment are strongly urged to only sell appliances fitted with the correct plug and fuse.

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