Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service

Dangerous Furniture

In a joint operation with West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service seized over 30 items of dangerous upholstered furniture from a travellersí site in Drighlington. The action coincides with seizures by Trading Standards Officers in Kent and North East Lincolnshire, which has been widely reported.

The Trading Standards Service had received enquiries from West Yorkshire consumers regarding the door-to-door sale of these suites from the back of vans. One consumer had paid £450 and was informed that a 5 year guarantee would come in the post within 14 days. However, the address and telephone number left by the salesman were bogus and the suite was faulty.

The furniture seized, which was manufactured in Poland, has since been tested and some was 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. Furthermore, a large amount of roadwork signs and cones were taken from the site, which officers believed were linked to a recent spate of complaints involving elderly consumers being duped into believing that the individuals were bona fide contractors wishing to carry out repair work to driveways.

Martin Wood, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service said:
"When we found that the furniture was being delivered to the site, we knew we had to act quickly to remove it from the market. Thanks to the speedy actions of Trading Standards Officers and Police Officers working together we have prevented this illegal furniture getting into the hands of West Yorkshire consumers.

Councillor Graham Clarke, Chairman of West Yorkshire Joint Services said:
"We are warning all West Yorkshire consumers 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."

Superintendent Tim Grove, of the City and Holbeck division of West Yorkshire Police said " We would warn all consumers within the West Yorkshire region to ensure that when buying any type of goods or service, 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."

For further information please contact:

Paul Smith, Principal Officer Tel: 0113 2898 219
Kevin Robson, Trading Standards Officer Tel: 0113 289 241
Linda Davis General Media Contact 0113 2898 246