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Wednesday 21 March 2018

Hundreds of fires are sparked each year by faulty home appliances

Thinkstock Images
Thinkstock Images

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

HUNDREDS of fires in Ireland are caused by household appliances every year, fire brigade figures show.

Electrical equipment caused 241 fires in 2011 and 211 in 2010, Department of Environment records reveal.

In addition, close to 500 fires are also caused each year by cooking and heating in homes.

However, even these high figures underestimate the full scale of the fire risk as a breakdown of causes was not available for Dublin, where 40pc of all fires happen.

A new study just published by UK consumer group Which? analysed fire records there to show that washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers caused more fires than any other type of appliance.

Over 3,000 fires in Britain were caused by these in the last two years alone with up to one in seven attributed to a faulty appliance, Which said.

A National Consumer Agency (NCA) spokesman said it did not collate fire-cause figures for Ireland, but did have a role investigating specific complaints by consumers.

It also took part in the Europe-wide RAPEX system, which ensured action could be taken to withdraw dangerous products quickly.

Household appliances accounted for one out of every three safety alerts issued by the NCA this year.

That included around 2,000 Hotpoint dishwashers earlier this month, which the manufacturers said could overheat and be at risk of sparking a fire.

Another 29,000 dishwashers made by BSH under the brands Bosch, Neff and Siemens for the Irish market were recalled for repair earlier this year.

However, only a fraction of householders affected by the problem has responded to get the necessary repairs to the machines manufactured between 1999 and 2005.

Altogether the NCA issued 24 safety alerts this year on products ranging from cars to children's pyjamas, with household appliances accounting for nine of them.

Irish Independent

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