Midlothian Trading Standards are advising people of the risks of buying second-hand electrical goods, and warning retailers against selling such items.
Everyday electrical goods and appliances, such as irons, televisions, washing machines, hair dryers and hair straighteners, can be a serious risk if their electrics are faulty.
Sellers of second-hand electrical goods are responsible for ensuring that those goods meet legal safety requirements, and it can be a criminal offence to sell unsafe goods. Sellers can also be liable to pay compensation if they sell unsafe goods, which then cause injury or damage.
They could face more severe penalties, including possible imprisonment if the faulty goods result in serious injury or death.
Consumers should always check with the shop or seller if Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) has been carried out.
Councillor Russell Imrie (Lab), cabinet member with responsibility for trading standards, said:“I would advise the public to avoid buying second-hand electrical goods. If this isn’t possible then please make sure that you are buying from a reputable source and that items have been properly tested.
“Retailers that sell second-hand electrical goods must only sell appliances that have passed safety tests. If not, then they are risking lives. This is a serious matter that both consumers and retailers must be aware of.”
Anyone who suspects unsafe goods for sale can contact Midlothian Trading Standards on 0131 271 3549.