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Cushion supplier fined for failing fire safety regulations

A company that supplied cushions to an East Riding garden centre has been fined £30,000 after the items were found to represent a serious fire risk to the public.

The company, Rosewood Pet Products Ltd, based at Queensway, Telford, was charged with supplying cushions that failed to meet essential safety requirements as tests revealed they could easily catch fire as well as failing to comply with fire safety regulations as they did not display permanent labelling.

Director Mark Bolland appeared on behalf of the company at Beverley Magistrates Court, where he pleaded guilty to both offences.

The court heard how officers from East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s trading standards team had visited Coletta and Tyson garden centre in Woodmansey in December 2017 and saw cushions, featuring the faces of dogs and cats, for sale in the homeware and gift section of the store.

The officers inspected the cushions and found they were not labelled correctly and the court was told that having raised concerns with staff at Coletta and Tyson, the cushions were removed from sale immediately.

The items were then sent for independent testing. which revealed the filling of the cushions were highly flammable therefore posing a significant safety and fire hazard risk.

The court heard how Rosewood Pet Products Ltd had not included permanent labelling on the cushions to confirm they complied with fire safety regulations as they saw themselves solely as a pet supplies company.

The company claimed the items were not intended for decorative use around the home but for pet use only; therefore they claimed the cushions were not required to conform to the same flammability and labelling requirements.

But magistrates heard how the cushions were being marketed as gifts for pets as well as owners on the company’s website and had labels on them stating “pet faces – a pillow for you or your pet”.

The items were also available for sale on Amazon with pictures clearly depicting the cushions on sofas as decorative items.

Rosewood Pet Products Ltd was fined £15,000 for each offence and must pay prosecution costs of £2,651.23 and a victim surcharge of £70, giving a total of £32,721.32.

Colin Briggs, trading standards manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The high level of the fine sends a very clear message that consumer and fire safety are being taken very seriously.

“Suppliers must take responsibility for ensuring that all upholstered products they sell meet the appropriate fires safety requirements and are labelled in the manner that the law requires.”

“I would also urge people who may be interested in buying upholstered items, such as cushions, to make sure they check the products to ensure they carry the appropriate fire safety labels.”