Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

45 Seconds from Death

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

45 Seconds from Death

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Taylor

Child's chair took just 45 seconds to destroy after bursting into flames

A baby's chair bought by hundreds of mums and dads across Britain was today exposed as a fire hazard.

As these frightening photos show, the rocker explodes into fire as soon as it comes into contact with a flame.

After five seconds the flames begin to take a hold, after 15 they are spreading rapidly across the chair's fabric, after half a minute the material has all but been destroyed and after just 45 seconds, only the chair's metal frame remains.

Following the test, Northumberland trading standards officers led by safety team manager Jim Rutter flashed a nationwide alert and pledged to raise the matter with the Government.

The chair was bought by consumer watchdogs from a shop in Ashington, as part of a programme of safety checks.

Labels clearly stated it was fire resistant - but it failed the match test carried out by officials from Northumberland County Council.

Mick King, county trading standards officer, said: "The last thing we want is to panic people, but the figures indicate too much furniture is failing simple but important safety tests.

"This baby's chair burst into flames during the test when it should have extinguished itself within two minutes. These tests are carried out by independent testing houses.

"These regulations are there for a good reason - to stop house fires spreading quickly. It's a very worrying trend caused by some firms who cannot keep a grip on the standard of foam they use.

"We are passing our findings on to the Department of Trade and Industry's Consumer Safety Unit because we believe this should be highlighted at a national level."

Bosses of the company which made the chairs have been fined pounds 1,000 and ordered to pay costs of pounds 500 by magistrates in Bedlington.

They admitted breaching Furniture and Fire Safety Regulations and the Trade Descriptions Act when they appeared in court. …

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