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‘White goods’ fires in Brent cost economy £3.7m in the last five years

PUBLISHED: 15:44 17 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:10 17 October 2016

The fire in Sonia Gardens was caused by a faulty chest freezer (Pic credit: PA/Anthony Devlin)

The fire in Sonia Gardens was caused by a faulty chest freezer (Pic credit: PA/Anthony Devlin)

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Faulty white goods such as tumble dryers and freezers have caused 72 house fires in Brent in the last five years, it has been claimed.

Boroughs with the highest number of ‘white goods’ fires

Croydon 114

Barnet 108

Southwark 98

Lewisham 79

Hillingdon 79

Brent 78

The figure has been released by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) as part of its campaign calling for the public to be greater protected from potentially lethal faulty white goods.

According to the data fires in London involving white goods have cost the economy more than £118million over the last five years.

In Brent the cost is claimed to be £3,710,980, the sixth highest in London, however the cost to human lives is priceless.

In September 2011, a mother and her five children were killed in a fire in their Neasden home which was started by a faulty freezer.

Basma and Yehya died in the blazeBasma and Yehya died in the blaze

Bassam Kua, 52, lost his wife Muna Elmufatish 41, daughters Hanin Kua, 14, Basma 13, Amal, nine, and sons Yeha, two, and Mustafa, five, in blaze in Sonia Gardens.

His daughter Nur, who was 17 at the time, survived after she jumped out of a window.

An inquest into their deaths the following year ruled they were killed after a capacitor inside the freezer, a Whirlpool brand which was bought in 2002 at an independent shop, had failed and caught fire.

Whirlpool denied their products were unsafe.

Nur Kua was the only child to survive the fireNur Kua was the only child to survive the fire

The campaign by LFB has been endorsed by Andy Slaughter, the Labour MP for Hammersmith MP who represents Shepherd’s Bush where there was a major fire involving a tumble dryer in August this year.

The LFB are calling for: The changes include:

• A single, publicly accessible register of product recalls.

• Better publicised product recalls to reduce confusion.

• Changes to the way fridges and freezers are manufactured.

Mr Slaughter has tabled an Early Day Motion which expresses deep concern about the potential fire risk currently posed by white goods and claims there is an inadequacy of product recalls.

Ron Dobson, London Fire Commissioner said: “There is a serious lack of awareness about the potential dangers posed by faulty white goods and manufacturers are lagging far behind when it comes to prioritising fire resistance in their designs.

“We want politicians and members of the public to share our campaign to make people better informed about the dangers white goods can pose in their homes.”

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