Greenhouse heaters often unsafe

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The Independent Online
Most of the greenhouse heaters on sale have safety flaws which could prove lethal to gardeners this winter, a report out today claims. Inadequate regulation, and design flaws, are blamed for hazards including potential build-up of carbon monoxide, electric shocks and fire risks.

Gardening Which? magazine tested a range of electric, propane and paraffin heaters and identified possible problems in 16 out of 23. Testers claimed three propane heaters failed to meet current EU standards.

Although all carried seals of approval from accredited laboratories, the report said, some laboratories interpreted current regulations differently, leading to varying standards.

Too many electric heaters were not splash-proof, giving rise to a risk of electric shocks, the report said, adding that safety standards covering this hazard were not due to come into effect until 2004.

The report found that too many paraffin heaters were prone to leaks, messy, and difficult to turn on and off without burning your fingers.