$175k fine after children’s pyjamas breached fire safety label rules

Children's clothing recalled by retailer Crackerjack for breaching fire safety labelling rules in...
Children's clothing recalled by retailer Crackerjack for breaching fire safety labelling rules in 2022.
The bargain retailer Crackerjack has been fined nearly $175,000 after selling children’s sleepwear that breached fire hazard labelling rules.

Crackerjack was prosecuted by the Commerce Commission, which said it was important for parents to know the risk and suitability of children’s clothing as they are keeping young ones warm near the heater or fire in winter.

"It is vital businesses comply with labelling regulations," the commission’s product safety manager Grant McIntosh said.

The prosecution followed the inspection of a Crackerjack store in Napier, where investigators found children’s nightwear garments being sold that were missing or had non-compliant fire hazard labels.

A wider investigation found 10 nightwear garments with incorrect fire hazard labels, and a further six – including some made from fabrics with a higher fire risk – with no label at all.

In total, 2880 units of nightwear across Crackerjack’s full range were imported by the business in April 2022, including the non-compliant garments.

The commission said it understood that up to 266 items were sold to consumers. Crackerjack was unable to confirm how many non-compliant garments were sold.

A general recall of all children’s nightwear sold by Crackerjack between March and June 2022 was carried out.

Crackerjack, which trades under the slogan "The bargain hunter’s best friend", has stores in centres across the North Island.

The company was fined $174,250 in relation to 18 charges that the Commerce Commission filed in the North Shore District Court in Auckland.

"As we head into winter and parents are trying to keep kids warm in pyjamas and dressing gowns in front of the heater or fire, it is important they know of the risk and suitability of the nightwear they’re buying," McIntosh said.

"All children’s nightwear and certain daywear sold must comply with the safety requirements and have a fire hazard label permanently attached in an obvious place. Not complying with these obligations creates a serious safety risk."

McIntosh said the requirements also applied to wearable towels and blankets, which parents often used to keep children warm after a bath.

The commission recently warned Davie Clothing, the company behind Oodie, for selling wearable towels that did not comply with the compulsory requirement.

 - Ric Stevens, Open Justice reporter