London

London 'white goods' fires cost £118m in five years

The tower fire Image copyright REMI LEFEVRE
Image caption A tower block fire in Shepherd's Bush in August was caused by a faulty tumble dryer

Fires in London involving "white goods" have cost more than £118m in the last five years, according to the city's fire brigade.

It said since 2011 it had attended 2,072 such fires. It calculated each one cost an estimated £57,000, which covers things such as damage caused and the fire service's response.

Croydon was the most affected borough, with 114 fires at a cost of £6.5m.

White goods are classed as dishwashers, washing machines, fridges and freezers.

It was recently revealed that a tower block fire in Shepherds Bush in August was caused by a faulty tumble dryer.

The brigade has written to every London MP urging them to back its campaign to raise awareness of white goods' fires.

Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter, who represents Shepherd's Bush, has also tabled an early day motion in the Commons expressing concern about the potential fire risk currently posed by white goods and the inadequacies of product recalls.

The brigade's campaign calls on the government and manufacturers to implement a number of changes to make white goods safer.

The changes include:

  • A single, publicly accessible register of product recalls
  • Better publicised product recalls to reduce confusion
  • Changes to the way fridges and freezers are manufactured

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "There is a serious lack of awareness about the potential dangers posed by faulty white goods and manufacturers are lagging far behind when it comes to prioritising fire resistance in their designs."

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