City residents are being given some helpful safety tips if they are thinking of buying second-hand electrical goods. Officers from City of Wolverhampton Council’s Trading Standards team are issuing the advice as they carry out visits to inspect and test second-hand electrical appliances for sale in the city.


Guidance is being given to businesses to help them make sure the items they are selling meet the required safety standards and residents are also being urged to check before they buy. A total of 115 second-hand electrical items have so far been tested at 10 premises across the city with further visits planned.

To make sure residents are aware of what to look out for, the council’s Trading Standards team is giving the following safety advice to anyone looking to buy electrical items second-hand: 

·         Always ask the seller what safety checks they have carried out on the product.

·         Carefully check the item for significant damage which could be the sign of electrical safety issues. Look for damaged power cords, cables or switches.

·         Always ask for user manuals or download them online if the model number is known. The number should be on a ‘data plate’ on the item along with a CE or UKCA mark and will also allow checks to be made if there have been safety recalls.

·         Electrical items should have an approved plug marked with either BSI or ASTA/ASA and most appliances will have an Energy Efficiency Rating which indicates how efficient they are. Check before you buy.

·         When buying a second-hand electrical item you should register it online with the manufacturer so they can contact you if any safety issues develop. This can be done at:

Councillor Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment and climate change at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “It is extremely important that people thinking of buying second-hand electrical appliances are aware of the safety concerns they need to look out for.

“While many people will be watching their money at the moment and be looking to find a bargain, we are keen to make sure they are aware of potential issues.

“We also want to ensure any second-hand electrical appliances that are on sale in the city meet the same safety standards as new products.

“Therefore, our Trading Standards officers are visiting traders to test items and remind them of their responsibilities. By advising both consumers and traders, we are ensuring people are offered value for money as well as making sure the appliances they are sold are safe.”