- Created: Wednesday, 30 August 2017 14:41
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The LFB (London Fire Brigade) have called on government to do something about improving the current recall system which is, pretty shambolic in truth and we wouldn't disagree with that but just how much truth is there and what do we do?
Before you read any further, we know we're not following the media herd here and we know that our view might not be the populist one but, it is fact and evidence based and not merely news published to fill space or grab attention. What we like to deal with are facts and realities.
The fire service said it was "extremely concerned" that despite a review into the UK's product recall system being launched in 2014 and several fatal fires, "no substantial changes" have been made.
But just what changes are to be made?
If a "DVLA" type system were to be created it would cost taxpayers untold tens of millions of pounds to set up and operate and that cost would fall on consumers one way or another, irrespective of how it was done. In fact, we doubt anyone has any clue what the bill could potentially be and, that's before we even look at what such a system was even to cover!
We'd reckon that would also require legislative change as well as retailers or even consumers would require to be forced by law to register all new sales and perhaps even ownership changes or moving home with appliances etc. We can't see such a move being popular at all as penalties for not doing so would also need to be sanctioned.
The letter says; "A year on people across the UK are still using white goods that pose a serious fire risk and are subject to recall or corrective action.
"Worse still, some fridges and freezers are still being produced with a flammable plastic backing, which offers very little protection against the insulation foam inside catching alight if a fire starts.
"We are deeply concerned that, a year after Shepherds Court, decisive action is still needed to improve product recalls and manufacturing standards for white goods in the UK."
Excluding the Grenfell death toll, which is yet to be finalised, there have been nine fire deaths and 298 injuries from fires involving white goods in London, the Brigade said.
And yet to date there is absolutely no evidence to say that the Grenfell Tower fire was caused by a fault on the fridge freezer at all, we won't know what the cause was until the investigation and inquest is completed. It is suspected perhaps, alleged most certainly but not proven as yet.
We also do not think that plastic backing on refrigeration is a real problem as, after all, something has to ignite it and that' got to be pretty severe before it does catch from what we've seen.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan weighed in on the topic as well saying that the Government's delay in implementing the LFB's recommendations was "inexcusable".
Khan said: "The terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower in June is a stark reminder of just how devastating a fire caused by faulty white goods can be.
"Now, a year since the tragic fire in Shepherd's Bush which led to these important recommendations, the Government and manufacturers must urgently act to help prevent any further tragedies and keep Londoners safe.
Even although there's currently no evidence or proof to support the assertion that the fire was caused by any appliance at this stage!
Political capital or grandstanding in the wake of what is a terrible tragedy? You decide.
Of course the media feeding frenzy around this is phenomenal with it making a great story, the poor people suffering and the big bad villain in the form of appliance makers.
We would not disagree that appliance makers have their failings as do we all but, are they really at fault here?
Just this week evidence in another ongoing inquest into two deaths from a supposed tumble dryer fire has indicated that the dryer was off and not powered at the time of the fire. A fire in which the dryer has been categorically blamed for the incident.
But these things take time to investigate, to get to the bottom of and understand the actual cause, not the alleged one.
Yet we've heard many saying that the LFB have said there's hundreds of fire incidents with appliances every year and, that's true
What we have are fire incident reports and those could be a false alarms, could be a burning pan, grill pan fire, belt smoking, burnt out mains filter, dust… whatever. The point is we have often got not a clue why the fire services were called only that they were and that it related to X, Y or Z product or reason.
Just in the same way we see media stories all the time about this sort of thing but, hardly ever any follow up on what the actual cause was, what make and model it was or much of any real information really.
But it seems at times that where the press etc get a hold of these numbers they’re often on it like a rash, even though the backing for some of the claims being made is flaky to downright dodgy.
We are not saying that it's all sweetness and light nor are we saying that people should not be aware of using appliances wrongly or anything else. What we are saying is very simple really, don't' trust everything you see or read as it may well turn out not to be quite as is being presented.
And when government gets right down to it and sees how small an issue this probably is, do you think that they will throw tens of millions of taxpayers money at it?
More likley, if anything at all is done, there will be a "Recall Tax" added at point of sale and everything people buy will be subject to that charge.
Even then, will we really be any safer?