Need to know
- Six out of 15 electric heaters failed CHOICE safety tests in our most recent review.
- Bunnings has recalled the Mill Convection Panel Heaters (model numbers AUSG2000LED and AUSG2000LED BK) and the Click Electric Panel heaters (model numbers CPN1500 and CPN2500) due to an insecurely attached cord.
- An insecurely attached cord can lead to electrical faults causing damage, fire or even electric shock.
They're not the most energy-efficient heating option, but many households rely on electric heaters for a quick blast of warmth when the temperature drops.
CHOICE reviews electric heaters based on heating performance, energy efficiency, ease of use and safety.
At CHOICE, we take consumer safety seriously. This is why when we review a product, our expert testers often include a series of specially designed safety tests that go above and beyond the minimum legal requirements.
Of the 15 models we tested, six failed one or more of our safety tests
While all heaters sold in Australia must comply with Australian Electrical Safety standards, our safety testing goes one step further, putting heaters through their paces in situations that mimic real-life and worst-case scenarios to identify possible safety hazards.
The four electric heater safety tests we perform are:
- Cord anchorage test – assesses how securely attached the power cord is by performing a series of 'pull and twist' tests. A power cord that is not securely attached could result in various electrical faults, which could cause damage or even fire. This test is based on the electrical safety standards in Australia and New Zealand.
- Tilt and 'knock over' test – assesses how easily a heater can be knocked over and how quickly the tilt switch or thermal cut-out feature shuts the heater off when the heater is placed on its side.
- Heat safety test – measures surface temperatures at various points on the heater.
- The towel drape test – checks that a heater doesn't overheat when a towel is draped over it and that it shuts down before the towel or the heater is damaged.
Heaters fail safety testing
CHOICE's most recent electric heater reviews have revealed an alarming number of unsafe models on the market. Of the 15 models we tested, six failed one or more of our safety tests – the worst result our testers have ever seen.
Three models, including the two recently recalled Bunnings heaters, failed the cord anchorage test. Other heaters in our test failed the towel drape and tilt stability tests.
Bunnings acts to recall unsafe products
CHOICE contacted each of the manufacturers of these heaters to advise them of the results of our safety testing. As a result, Bunnings, who sells the Mill AUSG2000LED Convection Panel Heater and the Click CPN convection panel heater – launched an investigation that involved running their own safety tests, which confirmed our finding that the power cord was insecurely attached.
Bunnings has now issued a recall notice for the white AUSG2000LED model that failed our testing and the same model in black (AU SG2000LED BK) as well as the Click Electric Panel Heaters models CPN1500 and CPN2500, which were also flagged in our testing.
The Noirot DM73588TWIFI was also recalled by the distributor Olimpia Splendid in July following CHOICE testing, along with three other models the distributor found to have the same fault.
CHOICE welcomes Bunnings recall
CHOICE expert Chris Barnes says that while CHOICE safety testing goes above and beyond the minimum safety standards, it's still very reasonable to expect that any heater being sold in Australia passes all four tests.
"It shouldn't be easy to find models that fail and that's why these results are so disappointing," he says.
Bunnings have done an extensive investigation ... and taken the appropriate course of action by issuing an immediate recallCHOICE Expert, Chris Barnes
While Barnes says it's alarming that electric heaters with unsafe supply cords have been sold to consumers, he welcomes Bunnings' response to the findings.
"Bunnings have done an extensive investigation, looking into a number of models, and they've taken the appropriate course of action by issuing an immediate recall."
What do I do if I own this heater?
If you own a Mill Electrical Convection Panel Heater or the Click Electric Panel Heter, check the model number on the unit. If your Mill unit has the model number AU SG2000LED or AU SG2000LED BK, or the Click unit has the model number CPN1500 or CPN2500 unplug it from the power point and stop using it immediately. You can return your heater to any Bunnings store for a full refund.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.