Cheap electric heaters being sold on TikTok and Temu "could explode, cause shock or start fires," consumer group Which? has warned.

The watchdog bought and tested eight heaters costing as little as £7.20 from the TiokTok shop and Temu to see if they were safe to use.

Of the eight tested, six were determined to be unsafe with many of these posing a danger to consumers.

Electric heaters being sold on TikTok and Temu pose fire hazard and explosion risk, says Which?

Oxford Mail: The testing found that the £7.20 XH-1201 1200W portable electric heater bought on TikTok was a fire hazard and explosion threat.The testing found that the £7.20 XH-1201 1200W portable electric heater bought on TikTok was a fire hazard and explosion threat. (Image: PA)

The testing found that the £7.20 XH-1201 1200W portable electric heater bought on TikTok was a fire and explosion hazard.

An identical portable space heater costing £16.98 on Temu was also found to have similar issues.

Another heater on Temu (X7 Portable) being sold for £14.99 was also not properly assembled with live parts being easy to access.

The NFJ004 portable electric heater costing £15.99 on TikTok was said to be so badly made that it could give people electric shocks, catch fire and explode.

Overall, Which? said five of the heaters bought through the TikTok shop were "dangerously unsafe" and that the instructions for four of them were lacking important safety information.

All three of the heaters bought through Temu were considered dangerous to anyone using them.

When the consumer watchdog searched for "electric heaters" on TikTok, it found that five videos in the first 100 results were promoting these dangerous products.

Both TikTok and Temu have removed all heaters that failed the testing, along with 27 listings for identical dangerous heaters.

However, since this action, Which? has said that it has found more similar items.

Which? warns over "serious safety risk" posed by low-cost heaters on TikTok and Temu

Oxford Mail: TikTok and Temu have removed the offending heaters but many copies still remain.TikTok and Temu have removed the offending heaters but many copies still remain. (Image: PA)

Calling for more legal responsibility, Which? head of consumer protection policy Sue Davies said: “Cheap electric heaters are a tempting purchase for consumers struggling during the cold winter months, but our latest tests have revealed that models sold on TikTok and Temu are a serious safety risk and must be avoided at all costs.

“It’s vital that the Government urgently gives greater legal responsibility to online marketplaces for unsafe products so that they are forced to take action to prevent dangerous products ending up in people’s homes.”

Temu said: “We deeply regret any concern or inconvenience caused by the safety issues identified in four electric heaters on our platform. The safety of our customers is our highest priority, and we have taken immediate action to address this issue.

“Temu operates a marketplace for independent third-party sellers who must adhere to strict compliance and legal standards before listing their products. In instances of non-compliance, we act swiftly to investigate and take necessary measures to protect our customers, which may include product removals and seller account terminations.”

TikTok added: “TikTok uses a combination of technology and manual moderation to enforce our policies for TikTok Shop.

“If TikTok finds merchants or products that violate their policies, they remove them.”

Lesley Rudd, chief executive of the charity Electrical Safety First, said: “New platforms for shoppers are contributing to dangerous products flooding the market, worsening the problem every day and leaving more shoppers exposed to unsafe goods.

“The way we shop has changed, possibly forever, yet it is utterly illogical that our laws have not, leaving people shopping on these online platforms grossly unprotected from dangerous electrical products.

“Influencers promoting goods on platforms also have a moral duty to their followers to ensure what they are promoting is safe or risk exposing them to dangerous products.”

She added: “The current framework is broken and urgent legal changes are essential to regulate these platforms once and for all.

“The slow pace of the Government’s review into product safety leaves our laws outdated and unfit for the way we shop today. We urge them to take decisive action to speed up the process and protect lives.”

A Department for Business and Trade spokeswoman said: “The Office for Product Safety and Standards continues to take action against unsafe products sold online and those who sell them, including through the use of intelligence to disrupt their supply.

“Manufacturers and suppliers are required to place only safe products on the market and are responsible for issuing instructions on how a product can safely be used. If anyone has concerns about an unsafe product, they should provide the relevant information and we will consider it.”