New figures from Hertfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service show that 49 home fires in 2018 were caused by faulty appliances.
The most common culprits were tumble dryers, which caused 10 fires last year, and washing machines, which caused nine fires.
In response, the fire and rescue service is urging residents to spend a few minutes registering appliances using the website www.registermyappliance.org.uk
If there’s a problem with a model you own, you’ll receive an email alert telling you what you need to do, whether it’s a safety repair a complete recall of the product.
Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Terry Hone, said, “White goods are one of the biggest causes of house fires, but fewer than half of us register for important safety warnings and we know that recalled models are still in use as a result. We’re asking residents to register their appliances with this government-backed scheme and take a few simple steps to reduce the risk of fire.
“It might be convenient to put the dishwasher on overnight or to put a load in the tumble dryer when you go out, but if you’re asleep or not in you won’t spot the signs that something’s going wrong and you could end up dealing with a serious fire as a result.”
Top tips for avoiding white goods fires:
- Don’t leave appliances running overnight or when you’re out of the house unless they’re designed to be left on all the time (such as fridges)
- Register your appliance at www.registermyappliance.org.uk so that the manufacturer can notify you about any recalls or safety concerns
- Look after your appliance – build ups of dust, fluff or grease increase the likelihood of fire
- Don’t use damaged appliances – if they start to make odd noises or aren’t working properly stop using them and get them checked
- Check if an appliance you’ve bought, or are intending to buy second hand, has been recalled at http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/product-recalls/where you can get further advice
- Always have a working smoke alarm on each level of your property and ensure you and your family have an escape plan in the event of a fire