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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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Welcome to the



At first read, the Which? Report, which revealed last week that faulty household appliances caused nearly 12,000 fires in a little over three years, was somewhat damning for our industry, wasn’t it?

That’s around 4,000 fires a year – almost 10 a day! It almost makes you want to return to cooking over an open fire and washing your clothes and bedding by hand and ditching the dishwasher for the kitchen sink, doesn’t it?

Read into it though and the picture changes… the figures weren’t just about faulty appliances but also covered those that had been incorrectly installed or improperly maintained. That sheds a completely different light on things, doesn’t it?

I installed my own washing machine several years ago (or thought I had) until the time I first used it and caused a flood. I suppose that had I not turned the water on, instead of a flood I might have had a fire to contend with. More recently, a builder friend connected all the electrical items in my kitchen – including the oven – to a string of three short extension leads. It was only when some failed and I called an electrician out, that we discovered just how dangerous my home had been. Neither of these situations had been down to the appliances; they were down to bad decisions and poor workmanship.

Then of course there are those who run their obviously failing appliances way beyond their safe lifespan, or perhaps buy them from a questionable supplier.

If you’ve yet to read the Which? Report, it revealed that washing machines (1,723, or 14% of fires), tumble dryers (1,456/12%) and dishwashers (1,324/11%) are the most likely items to cause fires. They are followed by cookers (1,080/9%), fridges/freezers (861/7%), central heating systems (606/5%), toasters/grills (495/4%), microwaves (427/4%), TVs (372/3%), washer dryers (225/2%) and irons (92/1%). The figures are based on government data and cover the period January 2011 to March 2014.

It’s been widely reported that only a third of people register their electrical appliances – which means that an awful lot are unlikely to be aware that their potentially faulty items have been recalled. I used to be one of them but changed tack when I joined this industry and discovered why we need to update our suppliers, not only when we buy, but also if we move house.



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Jan Hobbs


19th June 2015

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