Would you like to know if your household appliances were dangerous?
The Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) is urging residents to take advantage of a program that will let them know if electrical appliances in their homes are faulty.
The appeal comes as part of Register My Appliance Week and is being championed by Watch Manager Paul Pemberton, who discovered his own clothes dryer had been identified as unsafe after registering his own appliances.
Over the past three years, ECFRS has witnessed more than 1,700 fires caused by electrical appliances. Ovens, hotplates and toasters were the biggest offenders, but other non-cooking appliances also caused fires. In fact, 11% of fires were caused by breakdowns in dryers, washing machines, fridge-freezers and dishwashers.
Paul Pemberton said: “When I registered my appliances I was quickly informed of a potential fault with my dryer. I bought it a few years ago, from a well-known supplier who sells refurbished devices. We had never had a problem with it but working in the service I am aware of the damage a dryer fire can cause.
“Because so many products had been affected, the wait for an engineer to come and replace the faulty part was over six months, so they offered me an option to purchase a replacement dryer at a steep cost. reduced, and I took them on.
“I remember the feeling of relief I found about the breakdown and being able to get a replacement! There were five of us living in the property at the time so the tumble dryer was in daily use. Registering my devices could have potentially prevented a fire from breaking out in my home, which could have had serious consequences for me and my family.”
Recent government research found that 49% of people have never registered the products, or appliances, they use daily for essential tasks.
Although appliance recalls are rare and faults can normally be corrected quickly, it is important to register your appliances so manufacturers can get in touch if a fault is identified.
On January 11, firefighters were called to a property in Rochford at 10:05 p.m. when a smoke alarm alerted occupants to a fire in their home. Upon arrival, crews confirmed the fire was caused by a clothes dryer that caught fire while in use.
Fortunately, no one was injured and the crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly. The make and model of the dryer was noted and the fire was reported to the manufacturer.
When using a tumble dryer, Essex County Fire and Rescue recommends the following safety tips:
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Be sure to register your devices as soon as possible
- Do not use clothes dryer overnight or unattended
- Clean filters after each use to ensure they don’t clog with lint
- Items should be removed from the dryer immediately after the cycle and shaken out to aid in cooling.
- Make sure the device has its own power outlet. Do not overload extension cords and make sure there are no more than 13 amps in an outlet.
Registering your appliances is a quick and easy way to keep your family safe. Registration only takes a few minutes and you can register items for up to 12 years, even if you bought them used.
To register your devices, visit: www.registermyappliance.org.uk/registration/