Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Would you want to know if your household appliances were unsafe?

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) is urging residents to take advantage of a scheme that will let them know if electrical goods in their homes are found to be faulty.

The call comes as parr of Register My Appliance Week and is championed by Watch Manager Paul Pemberton, who discovered his own tumble dryer was identified as unsafe after he registered his own appliances.

In the last three years, ECFRS has attended more than 1,700 fires that have been caused by electrical goods. Ovens, hot plates and toasters were the biggest offenders, but other non-cooking appliances caused fires too. In fact, 11% of the fires were caused by faults in tumble dryers, washing machines, fridge freezers and dishwashers.

Paul Pemberton said: “When I registered my appliances, I was quickly notified about a potential fault with my tumble dryer. I bought it some years ago, from a well-known provider who sell reconditioned appliances. We’d never had any problems with it but working in the Service, I’m aware of the damage a tumble dryer fire can cause.

“Because so many products had been affected, the wait for an engineer to come out to replace the faulty part was over six months, so they offered me an option to purchase a replacement tumble dryer at a heavily discounted cost, and I took them up on it.

"I remember the sense of relief that I found out about the fault, and managed to get a replacement! There were five of us living at the property at the time, so the tumble dryer was used daily. Registering my appliances could have potentially prevented a fire from occuring in my home, which may have had serious outcomes for me and my family."

Recent government research has revealed that 49% of people have never registered their products, or domestic appliances, which they use daily for essential tasks.

While recalls on appliances are rare and faults can normally be fixed quickly, it’s important to register your appliances so that manufacturers can make contact if a fault is identified.

On 11 January, Firefighters were called to a property in Rochford at 10:05pm, when a smoke alarm alerted occupants to a fire in their home. On arrival, crews confirmed that the fire was caused by a tumble dryer which had ignited while in use.

Fortunately, nobody was harmed, and crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly. The make and model of the tumble dryer were noted, and the fire was reported to the manufacturer.

When using a tumble dryer, Essex County Fire and Rescue recommends the following safety advice:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Make sure you register your appliances as soon as possible
  • Don’t use tumble dryers at night or while unattended
  • Clean the filters after each use to ensure they do not become blocked with fluff
  • Items should be removed from the dryer immediately after the cycle and shaken loose to assist cooling
  • Make sure that the appliance has its own plug socket. Do not overload extension leads, and make sure that no more than 13 amps are in any one plug socket.

Registering your appliances is a quick and easy way to help keep your family safe. It only takes a few minutes to register, and you can register items up to 12 years old, even if you bought them second-hand.

To register your appliances, visit: www.registermyappliance.org.uk/registration/  

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