The fire in Shepherd’s Bush, which occurred on 19 August 2016, was allegedly caused by a tumble dryer which was subject to a safety notice. Fortunately no one died in the fire but many families were forced out of their homes, and some are yet to return.
A year on from the fire the London Fire Brigade (LFB) have written to Theresa May to urge her to take action to create a single product recall register and to implement the recommendations made by a steering group which was originally set up to take forward the recommendations of an independent review by consumer champion Lynn Faulds Wood.
The LFB report in the letter that there are three fires a day from tumble dryers in the UK and almost one fire a day in London involves white goods.
In 2014 a Coroner examining the death of Santosh Benjamin, who died from smoke inhalation after trying to rescue his family from a fire which was started by a faulty Beko fridge freezer, made a number of recommendations in order to improve the recall system and the safety of household appliances. However, none of these have been implemented.
Jill Paterson, who represented the family of Mr Benjamin as well as the victims of the Shepherd’s Bush fire, said:
“I very much welcome the London Fire Brigade calling on the Prime Minister to urgently take action to improve the recall system in the UK and improve the safety of white goods.
“It is shameful that the recommendations made in 2014 after the death of Santosh Benjamin have still not been implemented. Since then there have been further reviews and steering groups, but crucially no action.
“Action is what is needed to ensure the safety of consumers and to prevent further tragedies, which are inevitable if no changes are made to the current recall system.”