KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
22nd September 2017
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I made a conscious decision not to mention it in last week's KBzine but I've been thinking a lot about the impact the announcement will have made... Yes - the naming of the brand of fridge freezer purported to have been the cause of the Grenfell Tower fire has to be every manufacturer's worst nightmare, doesn't it? And who'd want to be in the PR company's shoes trying to sort that one out?
The reason I've been thinking about it is that Jo Public never really bothers to work out why the appliance may have caught fire. The brand itself automatically gets the blame when in reality it could be any number of things that could have caused the problem.
I'm sure we've all seen dodgy wiring jobs... plugs where the protective plastic or rubber cover has come away, exposing wires and innards to damp or damage... damaged leads... broken or loose sockets which can be in themselves, death traps... DIY socket extensions or those plug-in adapters so heavily used that the circuit's dangerously overloaded... bad wiring in the building itself... ancient consumer units no longer fit for purpose... Even in my home I briefly lived with a severed fridge freezer lead that had been badly repaired by a supposed professional (who was meant to replace it) and which left me with a dangerous appliance. It happens almost everywhere.
It's just that in most cases - luckily - people don't die.
This morning, I was wondering what the answer might be, in terms of ensuring that our appliances don't become dangerous. As landlords, we're responsible for updating our gas safety certificates annually and wo betide anyone whose tenants have come a cropper with an electrical appliance that hasn't been PAT tested.
Our own homes though, tend to be less-well cared for in terms of gas or electrical safety. I've never had my own gas supply or boiler tested while my electrics are only examined when something stops working and I have to call in an electrician. I'm sure I'm not unique in that respect...
Should we all be testing our homes and appliances regularly, as we do our cars when they're put through the MOT test (and how many of us would MOT test our cars if legislation didn't force us to?) Should the Government perhaps be forcing us to regularly have our homes and appliances safety checked, by introducing legislation to that effect?
30th June 2017