Special: Furniture Inferno Fake Britain


Special: Furniture Inferno

Matt Allwright presents a special investigation into the illegal and potentially lethal sofas and mattresses being sold by some of the UK's best-known retailers.


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Transcript


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At this time of year, furniture retailers are doing big business.

:00:00.:00:09.

They're selling us sofas at massive discounts and mattresses at

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bargain-basement prices. There's one place with a double discount sale,

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SCS. A Harveys sale ad... Homebase, make a house a home. Finding the

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perfect gift has never been easier, we believe there's a better what I

:00:26.:00:29.

to shop online. But Fake Britain can reveal that SCS, Harveys, Argos,

:00:30.:00:35.

Homebase, Tesco direct and Amazon have been selling illegal, unsafe

:00:36.:00:42.

and potentially lethal furniture. This noncompliant furniture risks

:00:43.:00:46.

the lives of people in their homes. It's very, very dangerous indeed.

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Alarmingly, there are sofas and mattresses on sale throughout the

:00:51.:00:54.

country that could cause an inferno in your home in fewer than ten

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minutes. There are products out there which really are a death trap.

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Clearly, that has to be a worry. Many of the dangerous mattresses

:01:05.:01:09.

carry false fire resistant labels. This label confirms with the British

:01:10.:01:15.

standard. This label is fake. So why haven't any of Britain's biggest

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furniture retailers noticed? Our investigation began when we met

:01:18.:01:31.

Maria Houston, who purchased two dream sofas from an independent

:01:32.:01:37.

retailer in Bradford. These two couches were absolutely stunning. I

:01:38.:01:41.

just couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the price as well. But when the

:01:42.:01:46.

sofas arrived, Maria was unhappy with the quality and the service

:01:47.:01:50.

she'd received. So she contacted Trading Standards. Officers in West

:01:51.:01:54.

Yorkshire began examining the type of sofa she had bought. They had no

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idea just what they were about to find out. We decided that we had

:01:59.:02:03.

real concerns about the safety, so we visited the premises and seized a

:02:04.:02:08.

sofa. We submitted it to our testing surface here who carried out the

:02:09.:02:13.

testing on the furniture. To see if sofa foam complies with the UK fire

:02:14.:02:17.

safety regulations, the law says it must be tested like this, a small

:02:18.:02:23.

wooden crib is ignited and if the sofa is safe, it shouldn't catch

:02:24.:02:25.

fire. When Trading Standards tested the

:02:26.:02:40.

sofa they'd seized, they made a shocking discovery. It failed the

:02:41.:02:44.

test. Not a little bit, but very badly. What you can see is that

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having lit the crib, it's already flaming away. What should happen is

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that the crib should go out. This is untreated foam, so it's away. After

:02:55.:03:03.

just two minutes, the fire has escalated dramatically. That would

:03:04.:03:06.

be out of control in a house. We have no idea just how many unsafe

:03:07.:03:10.

sofas like these are in West Yorkshire and beyond right now

:03:11.:03:15.

putting consumers' lives at risk. They have what the test house

:03:16.:03:19.

described as accelerating ignition, which to you or me is a fire ball,

:03:20.:03:23.

had it been in a house, near some curtains, it would have been a

:03:24.:03:27.

massive ignition source and would have burned the house down. Maria's

:03:28.:03:31.

sofas have never been tested. She's worried they may be unsafe. We

:03:32.:03:37.

showed her the test footage. That's unbelievable. God. If my grand kids

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were here and we had a fire, you'd think the worst, wouldn't you? I'm

:03:45.:03:50.

gutted. The consequences could be real danger for anybody, not just me

:03:51.:03:55.

and my grand kids or my niece and nephews, anybody. The independent

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retailer she bought them from had five shops in Yorkshire. They were

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successfully prosecuted and fined. Both Maria's sofas and both

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purchased by Trading Standards carried fire resistance labels

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claiming they met UK regulations. Fake Britain tried to contact

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I-Sleep Ltd for their comments. The stores remain closed and since

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January 8, the company is no longer in business. Could what happened in

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Yorkshire be happening elsewhere? Fake Britain has decided to find

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out. We joined Trading Standards in Leicester as they went to buy ten

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sofas at random from a wide selection of the best known High

:04:43.:04:44.

Street retailers and independent stores. They wanted to purchase a

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range of sofas for fire safety testing. Their plan was to discover

:04:49.:04:52.

whether or not they were safe. First on the list is Harveys. This is one

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of the UK's largest furniture retailers, with 150 stores

:04:59.:05:03.

nationwide. A Trading Standards officer buys a sofa available for

:05:04.:05:06.

collection straight away and it's taken away to their storage unit,

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before being sented for testing -- sent for testing. Next is SCS, or

:05:11.:05:16.

sofa carpet specialist, who have nearly 100 stores nationwide.

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Trading Standards pick a sofa, buy it and take it away. We wanted to

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check a range of different sized retailers. They will be tested under

:05:27.:05:29.

the correct standards to make sure that they are compliant with the

:05:30.:05:34.

safety regulations in regards to fire ignition tests. It should be

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inconceivable that any of these sofas could fail the legal tests,

:05:39.:05:43.

because in the 70s and 80s, after a series of deadly fires, new laws

:05:44.:05:51.

were passed to help protect us from dangerous furniture. In May 1979, a

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fire broke out at wool worths in the centre of Manchester. Fire crew as

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rived to find smoke -- -- crews arrived to find smoke billowing from

:06:03.:06:08.

the six-storey building. Bob Graham was one of the senior fire officers

:06:09.:06:13.

who responded on the day. What first struck me on arrival was the

:06:14.:06:17.

intensity of the fire and the amount of smoke that was coming out of the

:06:18.:06:25.

building. It was tremendous. There were approximately 500 people in the

:06:26.:06:28.

building at the time the fire started. So you can imagine the

:06:29.:06:34.

confusion. The situation turned to horror, as people were trapped

:06:35.:06:38.

behind bars in an office at the rear of the building. They were trapped.

:06:39.:06:42.

The fire was spreading across the floor. They couldn't open the door

:06:43.:06:46.

onto the remainder of the fire floor because they would have been killed

:06:47.:06:50.

instantly, with the heat that was in there.

:06:51.:06:53.

The urgent thing there was to get the bars off the window and get the

:06:54.:06:58.

people out. The crews did that very efficiently. The firemen went inside

:06:59.:07:01.

to reassure the people that they were going to be safe and gradually,

:07:02.:07:05.

they were brought down to the ground. Elsewhere in the building,

:07:06.:07:12.

ten people lost their lives and 47 were injured. The Coroner at the

:07:13.:07:18.

inquest said anyone who was on the second floor, three minutes after

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the fire started, was unlikely to escape. That's how fast the fire

:07:23.:07:29.

grew. Bob Graham, a key investigator, soon discovered that

:07:30.:07:32.

furniture was at the heart of the disaster. He became a leading figure

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in the campaign for tougher fire safety regulations and was awarded

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an MBE for his work. We reconstructed what was in wool

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worths -- Woolworth's, set fire to it and monitored the effects. That

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showed us that the furniture was the main contributor to this fire. The

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Woolworth's fire took ten lives. There were another 700 at that time

:07:56.:08:02.

dieing in their own homes throughout the UK. Campaigners persuaded the

:08:03.:08:07.

Government to change the law and now manufacturers are obliged to make

:08:08.:08:11.

furniture using fire resistant foam and materials in order to protect

:08:12.:08:16.

the consumer. Chief Fire Officer, Paul Fuller, from Bedfordshire Fire

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Rescue Service is president of the Chief Fire Officers Association and

:08:22.:08:26.

an expert in fire prevention. In 35 years in the Fire Service, I've seen

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the devastation caused by fires of all sorts and it is never a good

:08:31.:08:35.

thing. It is worsened, if the materials that are inside rooms burn

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more readily, such as noncompliant furniture. Paul knows just how

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dangerous a fire involving this furniture can be. The catastrophic

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effects are demonstrated by this living room fire test, carried out

:08:53.:08:55.

before the regulations came into force.

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Very, very quickly, the room in which that furniture is involved

:09:00.:09:04.

will become completely uninhabitable. You can't breathe.

:09:05.:09:08.

You can't see. It's too hot. You can't find your way around. And

:09:09.:09:12.

you're choking to death. Noncompliant furniture risks the

:09:13.:09:16.

lives of people in their homes. It's very, very dangerous indeed. The ten

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sofas purchased by Leicestershire Trading Standards have arrived at

:09:27.:09:29.

the West Yorkshire materials testing lab, which is fully accredited to

:09:30.:09:33.

carry out the legal tests. Samples of the foam fillings and cover

:09:34.:09:36.

fabrics from the sofas, including those from SCS and Harveys, are

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being prepared for testing. Each separate cover fabric has to pass

:09:43.:09:48.

what's called a match test. We apply a butane flame, at a specified gas

:09:49.:09:54.

flow rate for 20 seconds. Then it's removed. Within two minutes of its

:09:55.:09:58.

removal, flaming has to cease and there is to be no progressive

:09:59.:10:02.

smouldering. All the cover fabrics from the same SCS sofa are being

:10:03.:10:07.

tested. They must all pass the flapability tests for -- flammility

:10:08.:10:13.

tests for the sofa. This is the trim. The first application of the

:10:14.:10:17.

fame doesn't ignite the fabric. This may be because there is some fire

:10:18.:10:21.

retardant treatment. The regulations require a second attempt. And this

:10:22.:10:28.

time, it ignites. After one minute and 40 seconds, it's reached an

:10:29.:10:35.

unsafe level and has to be skinning wished. The second fabric, another

:10:36.:10:39.

trim from the arms of the SCS sofa, passes the 20-second match test.

:10:40.:10:45.

This is still not good news for SCS. Even if all the other components

:10:46.:10:55.

pass, there is a failure, because all parts must meet requirements.

:10:56.:10:59.

The main cover fabric is the final element to be tested. It ignites

:11:00.:11:11.

easily. The fire takes hold. Then at one minute and 40 seconds, it has to

:11:12.:11:18.

be extinguished. This sofa is illegal. You've just seen a sofa

:11:19.:11:23.

from a leading retailer fail. We showed the footage to fire expert

:11:24.:11:29.

Paul Fuller. The rapidity with which that furniture has caught fire is

:11:30.:11:34.

staggering. If you can imagine that over four or five minutes it's

:11:35.:11:40.

shocking. Two out of the three fabrics have failed. This means the

:11:41.:11:46.

sofa, from High Street retailer SCS, is illegal and dangerous. SCS told

:11:47.:11:53.

us the issue here was a failing by the company who apply the fire

:11:54.:11:56.

retardant material to the product. And this is something that must be

:11:57.:12:01.

addressed. The model Trading Standards tested was part of a small

:12:02.:12:07.

batch of 41. Should further testing of the batch in question give us any

:12:08.:12:10.

concerns we will recall that batch of products and will be contacting

:12:11.:12:15.

customers directly. They also said: Regular, independent testing is

:12:16.:12:18.

undertaken and all of the certificates we have for that model

:12:19.:12:22.

demonstrate that it meets the required standards. We ensure that

:12:23.:12:26.

we obtain independent fire certificates for all of our

:12:27.:12:32.

upholstery products. We will be implementing our own independent

:12:33.:12:36.

testing routines. Next, the sofa from Harveys. The

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faux leather trim fabric has passed the test. The main cream coloured

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fabric is the second and final test. The 20-second flame is applied. The

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fabric ignites and the fire quickly escalates. Already the build up of

:12:56.:12:59.

gases you can see in that room are going to make it very, very

:13:00.:13:03.

difficult environment indeed. That's new furniture. It's brand new and

:13:04.:13:12.

doesn't comply. With those vital life-saving regulations.

:13:13.:13:14.

Astonishingly another sofa has failed. Harveys had this to say:

:13:15.:13:20.

"Harveys takes the safety of its products very seriously and have

:13:21.:13:24.

procedures in place to ensure its products meet all relevant safety

:13:25.:13:28.

standards. This matter is being investigated and we are unable to

:13:29.:13:34.

comment any further until we've concluded this.

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Fake Britain can reveal of the ten sofas purchased at random in

:13:39.:13:42.

Leicestershire, eight had failed and do not meet the required UK

:13:43.:13:54.

flammablity standards. So, alarmingly, ape number of leading

:13:55.:13:58.

retailers -- a number of leading retailers are selling sofas that

:13:59.:14:01.

don't comply with you're fire safety regulations. But it doesn't end

:14:02.:14:07.

there. It's not just sofas. Fake Britain has discovered

:14:08.:14:12.

dangerous, noncompliant memory foam mattresses which carry fake fire

:14:13.:14:16.

resistance labels and they're being sold in our high streets and online.

:14:17.:14:23.

Here in Lancashire, bed ministerer Silent Night have their own in-house

:14:24.:14:28.

test lab and carry out regular fire testing of all products they sell.

:14:29.:14:32.

They're going to demonstrate the importance of a safe mattress. There

:14:33.:14:36.

are products out there which really are a death trap in the consumer's

:14:37.:14:40.

home and clearly that has to be a concern, has to be a worry. That

:14:41.:14:44.

kind of product, we've got to stamp out of this market. Today we've

:14:45.:14:48.

joined them at Lancashire Fire Rescue Service to see how a safe and

:14:49.:14:52.

legal mattress should behave in the event of a fire, using one of their

:14:53.:14:56.

products as a demonstration. To simulate what would happen in the

:14:57.:14:59.

event of a house fire, the test has been set up like a real bedroom. We

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are going to use a wooden crib as the ignition source, which we will

:15:06.:15:09.

place on the centre of the mattress and set fire to it.

:15:10.:15:15.

The ignited crib burns steadily. Despite falling over, the foam

:15:16.:15:18.

filling of the mattress is not catching fire. And after two minutes

:15:19.:15:24.

and 43 seconds, the fire dies out. The wooden crib took two to three

:15:25.:15:30.

minutes to burn out, that's a compliant mattress. They then

:15:31.:15:34.

produced a second mattress from a xeter that they -- competitor that

:15:35.:15:41.

they suspect to be illegal. If the mattress fails the test, it's an

:15:42.:15:45.

illegal product on sale in the UK. But the label states that it is

:15:46.:15:50.

legal. The crib on the safe mattress burned

:15:51.:15:54.

out at two minutes and 43 seconds. But after the same period of time,

:15:55.:15:59.

fire has taken hold of the suspect mattress.

:16:00.:16:04.

After nearly six minutes, the mattress fire has filled the room

:16:05.:16:10.

with toxic smoke. More than half of all house fire fatalities are caused

:16:11.:16:16.

by smoke inhalation. Less than a minute later, the room has been

:16:17.:16:24.

engulfed by flames. The window explodes. The carpet, the curtains

:16:25.:16:29.

and the bed have been destroyed. The fire has reached approximately 1,000

:16:30.:16:37.

degrees. At nearly 11 minutes, it's an inferno. The small camera that

:16:38.:16:44.

we've been using to record a closer shot is too close to the fire. A

:16:45.:16:47.

fire officer recommends rescuing it from the heat of the blaze. And then

:16:48.:16:52.

a Fire Rescue Service officer steps in to distinguish the fire

:16:53.:16:56.

ball, as it's simply too dangerous to continue.

:16:57.:17:12.

Clearly in that situation, if there had been people in that property,

:17:13.:17:19.

then very clearly there would have been strong risk of fatalities. It

:17:20.:17:23.

would be so hot and so full of smoke and gas that it would be

:17:24.:17:26.

unsurvivable. In only about six minutes, it would be a terrifying

:17:27.:17:32.

place to be trapp in those probably last few minutes of survival.

:17:33.:17:36.

Shocking stuff. And it's unbelievable to think that despite

:17:37.:17:40.

the tough regulations that we have here in the UK, this was a product

:17:41.:17:47.

widely available for sale. To investigate further, Fake Britain

:17:48.:17:53.

went shopping. We decided to conduct our own tests by buying a series of

:17:54.:17:58.

rolled memory foam mattresses by Ventura, sold under the brand name

:17:59.:18:03.

Sleep Secrets from sleeping online and High Street retailers. We bought

:18:04.:18:08.

samples of the sleep secrets, cool gel and Napoli memory foam

:18:09.:18:12.

mattresses from Argos, Homebase, itesquo direct and Amazon -- Tesco

:18:13.:18:18.

direct and Amazon website. Prices ranged from ?140 to ?300. We took

:18:19.:18:24.

our mattresses to the Fira, the test lab in Hertfordshire. It's one of

:18:25.:18:28.

the UK's leading testing centres. They're able to test whether the

:18:29.:18:31.

mattresses are up to standard. Today, one of their experts is about

:18:32.:18:36.

to discover whether some of Britain's leading retailers have

:18:37.:18:45.

been selling illegal mattresses. The Sleep secrets comfort cool gel

:18:46.:18:51.

memory foam mattress from the Argos website is ignited. The foam ignites

:18:52.:18:58.

and burns steadily. Very quickly it represents a serious risk. After two

:18:59.:19:05.

minutes and 39 seconds, Steve switches on the fire distinguisher.

:19:06.:19:12.

-- extinguisher. The mattress has failed. This means Argos has sold an

:19:13.:19:19.

illegal product in the UK which is potentially lethal. Because the foam

:19:20.:19:22.

has failed, it's not legal to be sold as any part of furniture,

:19:23.:19:26.

whether it's a chair or a mattress. The foam is actually illegal for

:19:27.:19:31.

furniture use in the UK. Next it's the Sleep Secrets cool gel memory

:19:32.:19:36.

foam single mattress from Homebase. The crib test is ready to go. The

:19:37.:19:46.

mattress foam Iing noits. -- ignites. It's not long until it's

:19:47.:19:49.

reached the limit and the blaze is put outment -- out. This mattress

:19:50.:19:55.

has also failed the test. As a result, Homebase has sold an ellegal

:19:56.:20:02.

product. -- illegal product. If it was to catch fire, due to the rate

:20:03.:20:05.

the flames would develop and spread and the amount of smoke, it would

:20:06.:20:08.

make it very difficult for anybody to escape. Home Retail Group, who

:20:09.:20:12.

own Argos and Homebase, had this to say about the results of our tests:

:20:13.:20:19.

"At Argos and Homebase our priority is our customers. We are very sorry

:20:20.:20:23.

for any concern this issue may cause. Along with other retailers,

:20:24.:20:28.

we've initiated an immediate product recall of the affected batches by

:20:29.:20:33.

Ventura, who will be writing to all affected customers to arrange

:20:34.:20:36.

collection of their mattress and we will offer a full refund or

:20:37.:20:41.

compliant replacement. We've also removed all affected mattresses from

:20:42.:20:45.

sale with immediate effect. We operate strict terms and conditions

:20:46.:20:49.

with suppliers, which state that all goods supplied to us must be legal

:20:50.:20:54.

and conform to the relevant legislation. We are deeply

:20:55.:20:57.

disappointed and concerned about this clear failure by Ventura and

:20:58.:21:03.

are taking urgent action at the highest levels."

:21:04.:21:09.

Next to be tested is a Sleep Secrets 15 cms Celsius cool gel memory foam

:21:10.:21:14.

mattress that we bought from Tesco direct. The crib is ignited again.

:21:15.:21:20.

And yet again, our test shows strieghtening quick ack --

:21:21.:21:29.

frighteningly quick acceleration of the fire. The mattress has failed.

:21:30.:21:34.

Tesco direct has sold an illegal product. They told us: "We have very

:21:35.:21:39.

high standards for the items we sell and are urgently investigating with

:21:40.:21:43.

the brand supplier. We have only sold one of these items and have

:21:44.:21:47.

suspended the product from sale. We will be taking action with the

:21:48.:21:51.

supplier once our investigations are completed. "

:21:52.:21:59.

Next up, it's a Sleep Secrets 18 cms Napoli mattress purchased from

:22:00.:22:03.

Amazon. This is the fourth and final mattress that we have tested. This

:22:04.:22:14.

mattress also fails. Shockingly, Argos, Homebase, Tesco direct and

:22:15.:22:20.

Amazon have all sold an illegal product throughout the whole of the

:22:21.:22:26.

UK. Amazon told Fake Britain: "At Amazon we're committed to providing

:22:27.:22:29.

customers with the best possible shopping experience and have an

:22:30.:22:33.

established process in place which enables third parties, including

:22:34.:22:38.

rights holders, to provide us with notice of infringements or

:22:39.:22:42.

noncompliant product. We respond rapidly to any such notice,

:22:43.:22:46.

including removal of any such items." All four Sleep Secrets

:22:47.:22:52.

memory foam mattresses have failed the UK legal tests. We sent our test

:22:53.:22:57.

results to the UK supplier, Ventura Corporation and they told us:

:22:58.:23:02.

"Ventura Corporation is a responsible and ethical business and

:23:03.:23:06.

has been trading for nearly 30 years. We have an unblemished record

:23:07.:23:11.

of trading with many of the largest retailers in the UK. We have been

:23:12.:23:15.

made aware by the programme makers that there is an issue with a

:23:16.:23:20.

limited number of Sleep Secrets branded mattresses which originate

:23:21.:23:23.

from a single, previously reliable supplier. We are conducted a

:23:24.:23:27.

vigorous investigation. We will conduct further testing and will be

:23:28.:23:31.

in contact with all customers who we can ascertain are in possession of

:23:32.:23:35.

any mattresses which may be affected. We will seek to offer

:23:36.:23:39.

affected customers a satisfactory resolution. "

:23:40.:23:44.

It's clear, the bed industry could be facing a big problem. We spoke to

:23:45.:23:49.

Jessica Alexander from the national bed federation to find out more. In

:23:50.:23:55.

the last few years, because of the recession, we've seen more

:23:56.:23:58.

manufacturers perhaps try and cut corners in order to reduce their

:23:59.:24:03.

prices. Therefore we do feel that it has become more of an issue for

:24:04.:24:08.

consumers to be taken in by products which aren't quite what they say

:24:09.:24:13.

they are. All of the Sleep Secrets mattresses we bought are made in

:24:14.:24:18.

China. We all carried fire resistance labels. To check out the

:24:19.:24:21.

authenticity of the label, we took them to the British standards

:24:22.:24:29.

institute. This label conforms with the British standard. This label is

:24:30.:24:34.

fake. Anybody who knows anything about the labels should have noticed

:24:35.:24:38.

there was a problem. We look at these two labels, if we measure this

:24:39.:24:43.

one, it should be at least 50 millimetres by 50 millimetres. A

:24:44.:24:46.

white background with a blue border around it and it should have the

:24:47.:24:52.

word "resistant" across the blue boreder in white lettering, which

:24:53.:24:56.

should be at least five millimetres in size. Any writings and die grams

:24:57.:24:59.

on the label should appear in the white box and should all be black.

:25:00.:25:04.

This one is considerably smaller. It's less than 50 millimetres by 50

:25:05.:25:11.

millimetres. The blue pictures are wrong. The size is wrong. And the

:25:12.:25:16.

use of this number is wrong. Yet, it seems that no-one at Argos,

:25:17.:25:22.

Homebase, Tesco Direct or Amazon noticed. The label could deceive

:25:23.:25:28.

British consumers into buying an unsafe mattress. Why hasn't the

:25:29.:25:32.

retailer or the supplier noticed that these labels are fake? After

:25:33.:25:37.

all, the retailer has a legal responsibility to make sure that

:25:38.:25:41.

everything they sell complies with the law. We asked the retailers and

:25:42.:25:47.

suppliers to comment. Tesco told us, "We're sorry that the product was

:25:48.:25:50.

incorrectly labelled and did not meet the requirements of the

:25:51.:25:55.

regulations." Home Retail Group for oar gas and Homebase told us, "On

:25:56.:25:59.

learning of these claims, Argos and Homebase immediately launched an

:26:00.:26:03.

urgent, top-level investigation with Ventura, in which independent tests

:26:04.:26:09.

confirmed that the Sleep Secrets mattresses did not confirm to BS

:26:10.:26:15.

7177. The tests revealed that the mattress labels were genuine having

:26:16.:26:21.

been applied by the supplier during manufacturing. But the label

:26:22.:26:24.

information did not comply with the mattresses sold. Amazon did not

:26:25.:26:28.

respond on this point. Ventura corporation, the supplier,

:26:29.:26:32.

told us: "We're investigating an issue concerning the accuracy of

:26:33.:26:35.

information shown on the mattress labels. We have never been advised

:26:36.:26:40.

by any independent testers that the labels are incorrect, but we're now

:26:41.:26:45.

working, according to the flammablity standard with

:26:46.:26:49.

independent test laboratories to ensure the future accuracy of

:26:50.:26:55.

labelling. The labels are not fake. It's the manufacturer who is

:26:56.:26:58.

responsible for testing the products, but the retailer is

:26:59.:27:01.

obliged to check that furniture that they sell is safe. The question

:27:02.:27:06.

should be asked of that retailer, are they being diligent enough in

:27:07.:27:10.

terms of vetting their supplier base to ensure they are conforming

:27:11.:27:14.

totally with the legal requirements of products they sell to the

:27:15.:27:18.

consumer. At the end of the day, the buck would stop with that retailer.

:27:19.:27:23.

The fact that SCS, Harveys, Argos, Homebase, Tesco Direct and Amazon

:27:24.:27:29.

have been selling illegal furniture in the UK shocks a leading

:27:30.:27:32.

campaigner in fire safety, who thought this problem had been solved

:27:33.:27:38.

over 25 years ago. To find that people are selling hazardous

:27:39.:27:43.

furniture to the general public, particularly when they have a

:27:44.:27:48.

reputation, I mean, that's reprehensible. No-one knows just how

:27:49.:27:53.

many dangerous sofas and mattresses there are on sale and in UK homes

:27:54.:27:57.

right now. The whole purpose of the regulations

:27:58.:28:03.

were to drive down the risk of fires killing people in their homes. To go

:28:04.:28:08.

back to that, would be completely heinous. We have to do everything we

:28:09.:28:12.

can to ensure that we don't. You have concerns about products shown

:28:13.:28:16.

in this programme, contact your retailer. Homebase and Argos have

:28:17.:28:18.

told us you can call: contact your local Trading Standards

:28:19.:28:35.

as well.

:28:36.:28:42.

Matt Allwright presents a special investigation revealing that sofas and mattresses being sold by some of the UK's best-known retailers are illegal and potentially lethal.

The UK has some of the toughest fire regulations for furniture in the world and consumers expect that furniture they buy will be safe. But Fake Britain discovers that some furniture dramatically fails crucial fire safety checks and some items are even being sold with fake fire safety labels.