The Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria has issued a Public Warning Notice under section 228 of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012, regarding a specific design of hot water bottle.
The item, called the ‘Hot Water Bag’, was sold at a discount retail store in Ringwood called ‘$2 Hot Potatoes’, and supplied by Wens Bros Pty Ltd (Wens).
Our Director is concerned that these hot water bottles are unsafe and may not be robust enough to handle normal use. A consumer was recently injured using a hot water bag (similar to the one pictured above) when the seams failed, spilling the hot water contents onto the consumer.
Hot water bottles manufactured from rubber and PVC are subject to a national mandatory safety standard where they must meet certain performance requirements.
There must also be warning labels on the product and packaging alerting consumers to the potential safety hazards in using the item.
Consumer Affairs Victoria staff arranged for tests to be conducted on several of these ‘Hot Water Bags’ and found they failed the required performance criteria in the safety standard, including the:
- size of the opening
- thickness of the rubber used
- strength of the seams.
The ‘Hot Water Bags’ also did not have sufficient warning instructions explaining how to use the product safely.
As a result, Consumer Affairs Victoria staff immediately seized more than 4,000 of these products from Wens’ warehouse in Clayton and its retail store ‘Warehouse Clearance Centre’ in Hallam.
Our Director is urging consumers to exercise extreme caution when using any type of hot water bottle and to always read and follow the safety instructions.
Consumers who have purchased a ‘Hot Water Bag’ should immediately stop using it and return it to the store from which it was purchased for a full refund.
This Public Warning Notice does not apply to hot water bottles that meet the mandatory safety standard. For more information, visit the Hot water bottles page on the Product Safety Australia website.
Download the public warning notice:
Hot water bottles – Public warning notice (PDF, 397 KB)