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The consumer group Which? have revealed the results of an investigation into safety faults within the products from big name hire companies.

‘Secret Shoppers’ were sent to hire a selection of tools including wallpaper strippers, circular saws, tile cutters and hedge trimmers from branches of Brandon, HSS, Jewson, Speedy, Travis Perkins, four independent hire shops, and Hire Station (part of Homebase).

The results were that only HSS hired out no tools with faults, and half of the 26 tools hired from the other stores failed tests. Chief Executive of Which?, Peter Vicary-Smith, said ‘ DIY enthusiasts trust these stores to provide safe, reliable equipment, but half the toolswe tested failed our rigorous tests and some could have caused serious injury. We expect higher standards from higher companies.’

Which? were also concerned with the lack of safety equipment offered at the point of hire, such as goggles, gloves and ear protectors.

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