The Consumer Protection service aims to
protect consumers against the supply of dangerous goods which are intended for private use
ensure the safety of consumer goods manufactured, imported, distributed and offered for sale within the Borough.
What we do
Programmed inspections of premises
Sampling of products
Respond to consumer complaints
Respond to hazard warnings to ensure identified defective products are removed from sale
The main piece of legislation giving authorised officers the powers to deal with unsafe goods is the Consumer Protection Act 1987. Regulations have been made under this Act which impose safety requirements for a wide range of consumer goods. Some examples of these are:-
- Electrical Equipment
- Babies’ dummies
Also, the General Product Safety Regulations impose a general duty on suppliers to ensure all products, including second hand goods, supplied for private use are reasonably safe.
Whilst most consumer products are covered by the above legislation, some exceptions such as motor vehicles and medicinal products are covered by separate controlling legislation which may be enforced by other agencies such as Trading Standards Division of the Department of Investment, Trade and Investment.
Trading Standards also deal with consumer issues other than product safety. Trading Standards in Armagh can be contacted on 028 37529834.
The Toy (Safety) Regulations 2011
The above regulations came into force on 19th August 2011. These regulations implement the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC which seeks to enhance the level of safety of toys, and applies to all toys placed on the market on or after this date.
Toy manufacturers, importers and distributors must understand the obligations imposed on them by the above new regulations, in order to ensure that they are taking all the necessary steps to protect children from the risk of injury caused by unsafe toys.
Further information is available in the attached leaflets:
Retailer & Distributor
The Cigarette Lighter Refill (Safety) Regulations 1999
Under the Cigarette Lighter Refill (Safety) Regulations 1999, it is an offence to supply any cigarette lighter refill canister containing butane or a substance with butane as a constituent part to any person under the age of 18 years.
The Environmental Health Department is responsible for enforcing this legislation and periodically undertakes test purchasing exercises in retail premises to ensure that they are complying with legal requirements. Test purchasing exercises are carried out in accordance with guidance issued by LACORS (Local Authority Co-ordinating Body on Regulatory Services).
Volatile Substance Abuse:
Volatile substance abuse or 'sniffing' is when someone inhales solvents and volatile substances through the mouth or nose to get ‘high’.
One of the biggest problems associated with this type of drug abuse is the availability of volatile substances, which makes it easier for young people to experiment.
The main products that are misused to get 'high' are:
· Butane gas (especially cigarette lighter refill cans)
· Certain types of glue
· Many types of aerosol spray cans (including deodorant, hair spray and air fresheners)
There are, in fact, hundreds of products on the market at present, which are abusable.
Anyone experimenting with solvents is at risk from sudden death. This can happen for lots of reasons, including heart failure, suffocation or fatal accidents when ‘high’. In the long term, misusing these products can damage the brain, nervous system, lungs and other major internal organs.
Further information is available from the Re- Solv website. (Re-Solv is the national charity solely dedicated to the prevention of solvent and volatile substance abuse.)
Second Hand Electrical Goods Initiative 2011
Environmental Health Officers in the Southern Group of Councils (Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon and Newry & Mourne) recently undertook a programme of inspections involving premises supplying second hand electrical goods. Prior to visits premises received a letter to advise that a survey of second hand electrical products was to be undertaken and a guidance leaflet outlining their duties in relation to the supply of second hand goods.
Officers were accompanied by a competent electrician who tested a number of electrical products in each premises; in addition a visual inspection of electrical products was carried out by Officers.
Thirty six premises were visited throughout the five council areas with a total number of one hundred and fifty products checked for compliance. In relation to safety, eighty three products did not meet the required standards, classified as unsafe and were subsequently removed or withdrawn from sale. The safety issues highlighted with these products related to frayed or damaged flexes, plug grips, damaged or cracked plug covers, loose pins, wiring visible, wrong or missing fuses.
The Environmental Health Department would advise that it is the responsibility of the owner of the business to take all necessary action to prevent any contraventions of legislation which should include setting up thorough systems for checking of goods, training and supervision of staff etc. so as to ensure the business only supplies electrical items that are safe.
Further information for suppliers of second hand goods including electrical goods is available in the following information leaflets:
Guidance for suppliers of second hand goods
To access the Guide for Businesses - "Don't Chance it" - Click Here
Suffocation Risk From Nappy Sacks
A campaign alerting parents to the risks of babies being suffocated by nappy sacks is being rolled out across the NHS nationally. At least 11 babies in the UK have died so far from suffocation after pulling nappy sacks stored in their cots, or near to where they had been put to sleep, to their faces. The thinness of the plastic makes it "cling" to the face when breathed in and young babies are unable to pull it away.
Further information is available in the following leaflets:
Nappy Sack Leaflet
Safety Warning Leaflet
SENSOR – CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM MODEL SF80190
Sensor Safe Ltd contacted Limavady Borough Council’s Environmental Health Department concerning a potential safety issue with their Carbon Monoxide Alarm SF80190.
Recent test results have confirmed that these alarms may not detect certain levels of Carbon Monoxide and as a result have been taken off sale. All existing stock has been quarantined while recalling those already sold.
WE WOULD ASK ANY CUSTOMER IN POSSESSION OF THE ABOVE CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS TO STOP USING THEM IMMEDIATELY.
Please return any alarms to the place of purchase.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
For further information please contact your local Council Environmental Health Department.
General information and guidance documents:
Information leaflet for retailers- Potential unsafe products
Part Worn Tyres- Public information leaflet
To access the Guide for Businesses - "Don't Chance it" - Click Here
Window blind cord safety- www.makeitsafe.org.uk
Links to useful web sites:
Consumer - www.consumerdirect.gov.uk
Trading Standards - www.tradingstandards.gov.uk
For further information contact the Environmental Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org