A new report has warned the consumers that nearly half of the "cheap and cheerful" Christmas tree lights that are available for sell online could cause a fire or electric shock. A consumer group has carried out prescribed tests on products, bought from third-party sellers across four online marketplaces and two from the high street retailers in UK.
Based on the electrical safety standard, the consumer group Which has carried out a series of tests on 13 products, which were bought from third-party sellers across four online marketplaces and two from the high street retailers, to understand the quality before it can be sold in the UK.
Products failed tests
While testing the products, the group found that six of the 13 sets of Christmas tree lights that were bought online failed to pass the test and turned out to be extremely dangerous. It cited eBay, AliExpress and Wish, which were sold two products each that failed the tests.
"Nearly half of the Christmas tree lights that we bought from AliExpress, eBay and Wish were electrically unsafe and dangerous to use. While more than 90% of those we checked – including four models from Amazon Marketplace – failed to meet the standard allowing them to be lawfully sold in the UK," said the report.
During a short-circuit test, the control boxes of two lights, which were taken from eBay and AliExpress, became extremely hot and started to melt and emit smoke. By the end of the test, the insides of the boxes were left charred and the circuit board reduced to a molten plastic mess, revealed the report with a video as shown below:
However, not all online products are faulty. Which? said five products, purchased from Amazon, and the ones from the from high street retailers John Lewis and Argos passed all the safety tests. Apart from the electrical safety tests, the information provided on the boxes was also checked to ensure that the right safety markings and instructions are mentioned. But, four of the five lights bought from Amazon were non-compliant, it noted.
Out of all the 13 sets, only one set of lights that was purchased from purchased from Amazon passed all the tests and was ready for sell. Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of home products and services, said, "Many of the cheap and seemingly cheerful Christmas lights we've tested from online marketplaces simply aren't safe."
E-bay removes them
In a quick reaction, Ebay has removed the unsafe products from its listing and said, "The items have been removed and the sellers advised to contact any buyers with the alert and their return policy."
"Customer safety is of paramount importance. We have informed the sellers and removed these listings. Merchants need to comply with all regulations in the markets they sell to," AliExpress said.