Dangerous fairy lights and hazardous train set seized by Northants Trading Standards

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Several sets of fairy lights and a toy train set have been seized by trading standards officers in Northamptonshire.

The county council team recovered the train set from a stall in Kettering’s market. It had wheels and carriages which can be easily detached and pose a choking hazard to young children.

They also discovered that the lights, which were recovered from an internet seller, failed to meet safety standards.

Officers found that a number of the lights had been returned to the seller after having caught fire or melted in the buyers’ homes.

Trading Standards staff are asking Christmas shoppers to be cautious when buying toys and decorations.

Cllr André González de Savage, county council cabinet member for public protection, said: “While we don’t want to spoil anyone’s festive cheer, these incidents demonstrate that shoppers should take care when buying Christmas toys and decorations to make sure that they are safe and fit for purpose.

“It can be easy at this time of year to be tempted by cheap offers, but you need to be sure if you’re buying children’s toys that they comply with safety regulations and that Christmas decorations do not pose a fire hazard.”

What to look for

Northamptonshire Trading Standards has also issued the following safety advice:

• Make sure toys are labelled with a CE mark and the name and address of the manufacturer or importer.

• With toys, look for small parts that could come off and pose a choking risk to children.

• Fairy lights should also carry a CE mark and should include clear instructions for use.

• Check fairy lights before use for shoddy or poor construction that may result in a risk of fire.

• Many Christmas decorations and novelty items can appear to be toys and will appeal to children, but they may not be suitable for young children to play with.

Consumers can report items that do not conform to safety standards to Trading Standards by calling Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.