Issued By
  West Yorkshire Trading
  Standards Service





In a joint operation with West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service has seized 50 items of dangerous upholstered furniture from a traveller’s site in Batley.  The operation was aimed at removing from sale furniture manufactured in Holland and containing flammable, toxic foam.  Trading Standards believe the furniture was being sold door-to-door from the back of a van throughout the West Yorkshire region and information received led them to suspect that it had been imported from Holland, a country with no flammability restrictions, and was destined for the West Yorkshire area, although import documents showed its destination as the Republic of Ireland.

The furniture seized has been tested and has been found to fail British safety laws, in that the foam is highly flammable.  In addition to burning fiercely, toxic fumes emitted can cause death or serious injury.

Martin Wood, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service said “When we found out that the furniture was in West Yorkshire, we knew we had to act quickly to remove it from the market.   It is alarming that such a quantity of illegal furniture was held at one site, all of it being destined for the consumers of West Yorkshire”

Councillor Graham Clarke, Chairman of West Yorkshire Joint Services said, “We warn all consumers of West Yorkshire to be on their guard from door-to-door salespeople selling this type of furniture.  Only buy from reputable stores.  Anyone having information regarding the sale of this furniture should contact the Consumer Helpline on 01133 848 848”.

D.C. Paul Wright, West Yorkshire Police Force Intelligence said “We would warn all consumers within the West Yorkshire region to ensure that when buying any type of goods, they ensure that they are from legitimate sources. We welcome this joint initiative with the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service to ensure that consumers are kept safe.”

In order to demonstrate how quickly fire can take hold with this type of furniture the West Yorkshire Fire Service will conduct a controlled burn at their Nelson Street Fire Station in Bradford at 2pm on 10th December.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer David Monks said: “This demonstration is being set up to warn members of the public about the dangers of buying older foam-filled furniture. When it catches fire it burns very quickly and gives off lethal toxic fumes.  Over the past seven years there have been approximately 27 fire related deaths by foam filled furniture throughout West Yorkshire, two of which have happened this year.  Please take care when buying any upholstered furniture.”


A demonstration of how fiercely the furniture burns will take place at West Yorkshire Fire Service, Nelson Street, Bradford at 2pm on Monday 10th December.


For further information contact:

Paul Cooper, Divisional Trading Standards Officer Tel: 0113 289 8240

Graham Hebblethwaite Divisional Manager/ General Media Contact 0113 289 8218

Paul Smith, Enforcement Officer Tel: 0113 289 8219