Commenting on the recent report into product safety and electrical goods from the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Martyn Allen, Technical Director of Electrical Safety First, said.
“We welcome the BEIS Committee report and support their call for Government and industry action to address the on-going risk from faulty electrical goods.
“We have repeatedly lobbied for improvements to the UK product safety system, which is not fit for purpose – as illustrated by the number of fires caused by faulty appliances. In 2016/17 alone, they instigated 4,120 house fires, resulting in 423 deaths and injuries[i].
“Since 2007, there have been 516 recall notices issued for electrical products in the UK[ii]. Given the low success rate of product recalls, with only 10-20% of faulty goods returned or repaired, there are potentially millions of dangerous electrical goods still in people’s homes.
“The flaws in the UK’s inadequate and poorly resourced product safety regime have been highlighted by a series of issues – from recalls of tumble-dryers to a number of tragic fires, such as Grenfell, Shepherds Bush Green and Lakenal House. So we fully support the BEIS report’s call for Government to establish a single national product safety agency. This is something we have lobbied long and hard for – and was recommended in an independent review of product safety, led by Lynn Faulds Wood nearly two years ago. “We also support the report’s recommendation for manufacturers of plastic-backed fridge freezers to use safer materials – they can pose a significant fire risk and can cause large, rapidly developing fires. Fridge freezers with non-combustible backs provide better containment of fire, whether it arises within the product or something else igniting it.”