Laura Sharman 15 February 2018

Faulty white goods causing 60 house fires a week

Faulty white goods are causing more than 60 house fires a week, a new investigation by Which? has revealed.

The analysis found the number of fires caused by faulty goods such as washing machines, tumble dryers and fridge freezers have stayed at a similar level for five years.

Which? said Government action to keep potentially dangerous goods out of people’s homes falls 'woefully' short of what is needed. The group has now written to ministers giving them 90 days to publish an action plan for the new Office for Product Safety and Standards.

The investigation found faulty washing machines and tumble dryers are the most high-risk appliances, causing more than a third of fires (35%) between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016.

Peter Vicary-Smith, Which? CEO, said: 'It’s shocking that there are more than 60 house fires every week in the UK because of faulty appliances. ?People will undoubtedly be worried to hear our findings that some of the most common household appliances represent a disproportionate risk of causing a fire due to being faulty.'

In response, cllr Simon Blackburn, chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: 'Councils support the new Office for Product Safety and Standards, which will provide much-needed central capacity to help local trading standards teams on product safety issues. But this is just the first step.

'It’s essential that consumers have access to as much information as possible, and we would urge the Office to create an easily accessible, comprehensive database of recalled products. This would enable consumers to get as full a picture as possible about the safety of the products they are buying, and should be supported by all manufacturers.'

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