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West Sussex charity shops selling hundreds of unsafe items
Hundreds of items sold at charity shops have been found to be unsafe following inspections by council officers.
Officers from West Sussex County Council’s trading standards service have visited more than 90 second hand shops across the county over the past 12 months to ensure that shoppers’ safety is not being put at risk.
More than 500 items were inspected during the year programme with and more than a half of items found to have safety issues.
Trading standards officers have removed all faulty and unsafe items from sale at house clearance shops and charity shops inspected.
Local authority officials say the items picked up included upholstered furniture, toys and cosmetics.
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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.
Officers checked whether toys still had the appropriate warnings about small parts that they had when new.
The authority said that the visits were a planned response after the stores were highlighted as a potential area of consumer high risk.
Trading standards advice states that while no customer should expect 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 including having the necessary instructions and warnings to keep those using them safe.
Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council 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.”
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