Cooker deaths: Call to create national database of gas appliances

Image source, Family Handout
Image caption,
Kevin Branton (left) and Richard Smith died at a property in Saltash in 2010

A coroner has called for a national database of gas appliances in UK homes after he heard an inquest into the deaths of five people from faulty cookers.

Coroner Geraint Williams said it would allow potentially dangerous appliances to be quickly traced.

The inquest heard how five people died in two incidents in Cornwall after turning on their grills which emitted fatal levels of carbon monoxide.

Mr Williams heard the cookers manufactured by the parent company of Beko - Arcelik - had been linked to 13 other deaths in the UK and Ireland.

Kevin Branton, 32, and Richard Smith, 30, died in 2010 in Saltash, while Maureen Cook, 47, Audrey Cook, 86, and Alfred "John" Cook, 90, died in 2013 in Camborne.

Image caption,
The cookers sold by Beko in the UK carried various branding including Flavel

Mr Williams sent a report to prevent future deaths to the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Office for Product Safety and Standards on Monday.

In it he said it was a matter of concern "that there is no national or central database which contains details of gas appliances manufactured, supplied or fitted to homes in the UK which would allow rapid identification and tracing of potentially dangerous items".

He said the lack of a mandatory scheme for recording the supply such items meant it was "difficult and time consuming to trace potentially dangerous items when urgency is of the utmost importance".

He called on the recipients to respond by 1 February with details of action taken or planned or an explanation as to why no action is proposed.

Solicitor Thomas Jervis, who represented the Branton, Smith and Cook families at the inquest, said: ""The recommendation by the coroner is welcome, absolutely necessary and long overdue.

"If these measures had been in place when my clients' families purchased their Beko gas cookers, their deaths would arguably not have happened."

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