Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has warned Australians to avoid specific models of heaters after failing safety tests.
CHOICE revealed that six of the 15 stoves they tested eventually became unsafe and dangeroussome of which were reportedly so damaged, “were no longer usable”.
“Of the 15 current electric heating models we recently tested, six failed our safety tests, which is a terrible result we haven’t seen before,” says CHOICE heating expert Chris Barnes.
As temperatures drop across the country, Mr Barnes says: many Australians buy electric heaters to keep warmwith electric heaters being a popular option due to their portability and affordability.
“Recent CHOICE tests have shown that a number of stoves have failed safety tests, so it’s important to exercise caution when it comes to purchasing one for your home,” warned Mr Barnes.
“Some of the heaters were so damaged after our safety testing that they stopped working – one blew a thermal fuse when we simulated it knocking over. Another became unusable after we tested how tightly the power cord was attached,” he revealed.
“It’s a timely reminder that using stoves can be dangerous, so you need to make sure that you’re not only buying a safe model, but that you’re using it safely,” added Mr Barnes.
Stoves that failed CHOICE . safety tests
Here are the heaters that CHOICE says failed the safety tests and why:
DeLonghi TCH8993ER Ceramic Tower Fan – Towel Cloth Test Failed.
Goldair GCT330 Ceramic Tower Fan – Towel Cloth Test Failed.
Goldair GCT270 Ceramic Tower Fan – Failed Towel Cloth Test and Tilt Stability Test.
Click on CPN2500 Convection Panel Heater – Cord Anchoring Test Failed.
Noirot DM73588TWIFI convection panel heater – failed cord anchorage test.
Mill AUSG2000LED convection panel heater – failed cord anchorage test.
What should you pay attention to?
Mr. Barnes recommends purchasing a heater with a timer and automatic shut-off, and also urged the public never to use a heater in the bathroom or allow it to come into contact with water.
“It’s also worth being wary of particularly cheap stoves. While a few cheap stoves do well in our tests, more often than not it’s the cheap models that perform poorly or have safety issues. This could be due to tend to use lower quality components, or less focused on optimal design,” he explains.
Mr. Barnes also said that while they recommend models that achieve a CHOICE Expert Rating of 70% or more and at least 70% for heating performance, they do not recommend models that fail any of their safety tests.
How security is determined
CHOICE determines safety failures by performing a number of tests, namely: the “tilt and impact test”, towel cloth test, cord anchorage test and heat safety test.
These tests check everything from the stability of a stove or how easily it can be knocked over, to how tightly the cord is attached to the stove, which can lead to various electrical faults that can lead to damage or even fire.
The testers also measure surface temperatures at various points on the stove. “The purpose of a stove is to heat the room, not the stove itself,” explains Barnes. “If it can warm the room while keeping it (relatively) cool, there’s less risk of getting burned. Fortunately, all the stoves in our recent review passed this important safety test.”
CHOICE says it has contacted manufacturers of each of the models that fail safety tests, with all claiming that their heaters meet and meet required safety standards.
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