Lawyer for victims of fires allegedly caused by household appliances calls for reforms to be implemented as Beko announce safety alert
Following a safety alert from the manufacturer Beko that thousands of tumble dryers could pose a fire risk, the lawyer for victims of fires allegedly caused by various different kitchen appliances has said that the Government should implement the reforms put forward by consumer champion Lynn Faulds Wood in an official report last year.
Jill Paterson is currently acting on behalf of more than 70 people over fires allegedly caused by faulty appliances, including the Shepherd’s BushTower Block fire in August last year which London Fire Brigade said it believed was caused by an Indesit / Whirlpool dryer.
Ms Paterson said: “This safety alert is just one of many to be issued by manufacturers recently. Whilst safety alerts are helpful, more needs to be done. The product safety regime relating to white goods in the UK is not fit for purpose and needs to be overhauled.
"There needs to be greater safeguards before white goods reach the market and better monitoring once they are in use. When a product is identified as safety risk, manufacturers should do everything in their power to ensure that every owner is identified and warned.
“The new Government must put safety first at the cost of the manufacturers and implement the lifesaving reforms which Lynn Faulds Wood proposed last year. It is only then that things will start to change and the number of deaths or injuries caused by fires linked to faulty household appliances will reduce.”
According to PA, Beko have announced that 3,450 of its condenser tumble dryers could pose a fire risk due to an overheating component. The safety notice involves five Beko and Blomberg 8kg and 9kg capacity dryers sold between May and November 2012 and carrying the model numbers DCU9330W, DCU9330R, DCU8230, DSC85W and TKF8439A.
Beko has urged anyone who owns one of the machines to stop using it immediately and disconnect it from the wall as a precaution and visit their website.
A spokesperson from Beko said: "We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this causes you and we want to reassure you that we are doing our very best to resolve this matter as quickly and efficiently as possible."
In August last year Emma Brown, area coroner for Birmingham and Solihull found that a Beko DCS 85W - listed as DSC85W under the safety alert - caused a house fire that killed mother-of-two Mishell Moloney. Recording a narrative verdict, Ms Brown said:
"It's my conclusion Mishell's death was due to smoke inhalation from a fire that was caused by the Beko tumble dryer within her kitchen.”
Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: "All owners of Beko or Blomberg 8kg and 9kg Condenser Tumble Dryers should urgently visit the Beko website to check whether their model is at risk of catching fire."