Dangerous Christmas lights are being sold online, an investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards has revealed.
Trading Standards officers bought four types of lights from a popular online marketplace website and sent them for safety testing.
All failed the tests, with three products posing a serious risk of electrocution.
This was because of their easily accessible live parts or claims they were suitable for outdoor use when their construction clearly did not meet the required standard.
Other issues included unsafe wiring in the plug and a lack of instructions for safe use.
Customers are being urged to only buy recognised brands from known UK sellers.
Peter Aston, West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager, said: “We expected to find some issues when we sent these brands for testing but the fact that all of them failed is very concerning.
“Three of the products posed a serious risk of electric shock so could have had fatal consequences for the user.
“The market place site in this case has now removed these products from their listings, but we feel they should be doing much more to keep buyers safe and they need to take more responsibility for the products they list. We will be sharing our concerns with the Government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards.”
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “With Christmas fast approaching I would urge customers to take the advice of Trading Standards officers and only buy lights and electricals from a recognised brand or business.”
Anyone who thinks they have purchased an unsafe product, should contact Trading Standards at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport or via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.