Landlords have been advised to be super-vigilant about electrical products that they already have in their properties, plus any new ones they supply, such as fridge freezers, cookers and tumble dryers.
The warning comes after a continuing spate of safety alerts and product recalls. Only yesterday, Dorset fire and rescue service warned after a tumble dryer sparked a serious house blaze.
One manufacturer, Beko, has been repeatedly at the centre of stories about domestic fires caused by their applicances, with fire brigade claims that they have caused at least 20 blazes at homes since 2010.
Despite a number of alerts and product recalls, it is estimated that around 138,000 Beko affected appliances are still in domestic properties.
Beko may have had the worst publicity but it is by no means the only manufacturer to have issued alerts – see the links given at the end.
The fact is that electricity is a major cause of fires in UK homes, and that includes rental properties. In one recent insurance claim, a landlord suffered over £100,000 worth of damage to his property and loss of rent following a fire from a faulty fridge freezer.
Although manufacturers regularly issue product recalls (266 in the last six years), there are difficulties in tracing the purchasers.
For example, out of one batch of faulty dishwashers made over a seven-year period that are at risk of catching fire, just one in four has been traced. The Electrical Safety Council says the average success rate of recalls is usually 10-20%.
Michael Portman, of specialist insurers LetRisks, says landlords should check all installed electric appliances regularly – both for safety, and against product recall notices (which can be found online).
In addition, you should always register with the manufacturer whenever you buy a new appliance. That way you can be contacted in the event of a product recall.
Also, make sure that every appliance is properly recorded on the inventory with its make and model number.
Below is a list of the product recall information websites:
Electrical Safety Council (ESC): www.esc.org.uk/recall. You will need to enter a model â?¨number, brand name or description of a particular item. If the product has been recalled, the website will advise on next steps.
Recall UK is the primary product recall site that lists all UK product recalls, for all product types, announced in the last few weeks: www.recalluk.com/default.aspx
Beko safety notices: www.beko.co.uk/Pg/ProductSafetyNotices
Bosch safety notices: http://www.bosch-home.com/us/support/safety-notices.html
White Goods Help – Archives for Safety Warnings & Appliance Recalls: â?¨www.whitegoodshelp.co.uk/category/safety-warnings-recalls-houshold-appliances/