Faulty camping stove results in horrific burn injuries

Posted Aug 30, 2018.
A camping stove purchased from a leading online shopping website caused extensive and horrific burn injuries to a man who was testing it prior to a camping trip. 

Marcus Oliver, from Virginia Water in Surrey, had purchased the stove from a retailer trading on the popular Amazon Marketplace platform. Having decided to test the stove ahead of a camping trip, Mr Oliver described how a ‘four-foot flare’ of flame shot up from the Manmax branded stove, engulfing him in a fireball and causing permanent and second degree burns to his hands.  He has recently been awarded £4,500 in compensation for his injuries. 

Following the accident, a subsequent investigation by Surrey and Buckinghamshire Trading Standards established that the stoves, imported in volume from China, had not been tested. The investigation found multiple safety issues including that it was impossible to safely fit a gas canister to the stove, a lack of the required CE mark and a set of instructions that were so inadequate as to be completely meaningless. 

Compensation awarded

Surrey County Council (SCC) then took three firms to court in July for breaches of product safety laws.  The three firms involved – the retailer, Discount In Ltd, the supplier A2Z Discounts Ltd and the importer Home Solutions (UK) Ltd – pleaded guilty and have been ordered by Guildford Magistrates Court in Surrey to pay a total of £45,000 in compensation, including £4,500 in damages for Mr Oliver. 

Denise Turner-Stewart from SCC commented after the Court decision:

“This case brings home just how important it is for sellers and suppliers of products to comply with laws which are designed to protect people…I’m pleased these businesses have been brought to justice for failings which led to a customer suffering terrible injuries…with camping season in full swing, our advice to people buying equipment like gas stoves is to check they’re labelled with the CE mark and the name and address of the manufacturer or importer and make sure there are clear instructions for use.

"Taking steps like these may reduce the chances of ending up with a dangerous product.”