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We welcome a significant victory for our Total Recalls campaign as the Government announces plans to launch a public database of potentially deadly faulty white goods.
Nearly one fire a day in the capital involves white goods and the Brigade has been calling on the Government since 2016 to implement a number of changes to make all white goods safer, including making it easier for consumers to find out if they own potentially dangerous goods via a centrally managed recall database.
In response to recommendations from the Product Recall and Safety Working Group, the Government has announced it will form a new Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) and one of its key functions will be to establish ‘a comprehensive database of corrective actions and recall programmes for consumer goods’.
The Brigade’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Charlie Pugsley said: “This is a huge success for our Total Recalls campaign, which has been calling on the Government to make it easier for people to check whether they are using a faulty appliance.
“Consumers need to be able to check quickly and easily if they have a potentially deadly appliance in their home – and this announcement appears to be a very positive step in the right direction.
“There is still more work to be done though. We also want to see greater regulation of second-hand appliances, changes to the way fridges and freezers are manufactured and the inclusion of sleeping as a factor in risk assessments – and we will continue to campaign for all of these measures.”
The work to establish a database will be completed in two phases. By spring 2018, the content on the Government’s existing product recall website pages will be upgraded and made simpler to use.
The second phase will be to build an ‘extensive hub of all corrective action and recall programmes affecting consumer products’. This will be completed by using various data sources to share information and make the advice and information relating to UK product safety comprehensive and up-to-date.
It is hoped full public access to this new database will be available in 2019.
The OPSS will also be working with fire and rescue services, Trading Standards and hospitals to map product-related incidents to improve the understanding of risk at product level.
It will also look at the costs and benefits of product marking to make products easier to identify, particularly in cases where a product is damaged by fire.