Scammers Are Using The Energy Price Crisis To Sell Dodgy Heaters

Don't rush to buy that new heater you've been eyeing up.
You could be being conned.
Cris Cantón via Getty Images
You could be being conned.

If you’ve had your eye on a brand new budget heater, you might want to check whether its low cost is actually too good to be true.

Why? According to one safety charity, the cost of living crisis is being used to sell dangerous heaters by online retailers.

Electrical Safety First found all three heaters it bought via links within online ads – branded Keilini, HeatPal and InstaHeat – posed a serious risk of electric shock, with mains plugs not meeting UK safety standards.

The heaters were tested by the charity after seeing ads that claimed they would help Brits save on their energy bills.

Two of the heaters had very poorly-made plugs there was a risk of the pins breaking off when plugged into a socket, putting the user at risk of an electric shock.

The Keilini heater had no UK plug whatsoever, instead being fitted with an EU mains plug and a highly dangerous, substandard UK travel adaptor with no fuse, which creates a fire risk.

Not just that - all three heaters were missing safety standard CE marks.

“Claims made about safety found on adverts for these heaters are highly misleading. We urge shoppers to stick to reputable high street stores or go directly to their online websites to ensure the product you’re purchasing is safe,” Lesley Rudd, Electrical Safety First chief executive.

“Consumers are handing over their hard-earned cash and in exchange receiving a product that puts their safety at risk, Rudd added.

The charity has reported its findings to the Government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Last month, the ASA banned four advertisements for electric mini-heaters for misleadingly suggesting they could provide cheaper heating than gas and save householders money.

The ads, for the InstaHeat, Keilini, Heater Pro and Heater Pro X, all claimed they were a cheaper alternative to gas central heating and could rapidly warm a room.