A food-technology teacher who bought new oven gloves for her cooking class found many weren't up to job.

Around half of the gloves turned out to be poorly stitched and started to come apart, making them unsafe to use. But when the teacher took them back to the Farmers store where she bought them, she was refused a refund or replacement.

Oven gloves are designed to provide protection from the very high temperatures found in domestic ovens. "The gloves bought in this case obviously weren't fit for purpose and posed a potentially serious burn risk," says our consumer adviser Maggie Edwards.

Despite raising the problem with several staff members at the local Farmers store, the teacher says she got nowhere.

If the gloves had been bought for domestic use, the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) would apply. Unless the retailer contracts out of the Act, it also applies to goods sold to schools (and businesses) if the goods are of a type normally supplied for personal or domestic use.

Sidestepping the local store, the teacher phoned Farmers’ head office. She got a different response this time. "Farmers immediately agreed that I was in the right and said it would arrange for any faulty gloves to be replaced," she says.

Farmers subsequently told us it will provide a replacement or refund for items that are faulty or damaged, provided there isn't unreasonable "wear and tear", and said it had met its CGA obligations in this case.

Buying oven gloves

There are no mandatory safety standards for oven gloves sold here. If you're buying these products, check they're well stitched and padded. We recommend you look for gloves that comply with the UK standard BS6526:1998. This standard sets design specifications for oven gloves to ensure they're safe to use. A reference to the standard will be permanently marked on the glove.

Farmers told us the gloves bought in this instance had been assessed as complying with the UK standard by its quality assurance department but said they hadn't been tested to the standard.

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