Consumer watchdog Which? is calling for appliance manufacturers to use fireproof labelling on their appliances, so fire officers can identify brands and models more easily following a blaze.
According to its analysis of UK fire data, there were 3,203 fires caused by faulty appliances – more than 60 a week – between April 1 2016 to March 31, 2017.
Which? further stated investigators could only identify the brand or model of the appliance in a third of the cases.
This is a drop over the previous three years when they could identify the appliance in almost half of white goods fires, according to Which?
Which? is calling for the Office for Product Safety and Standards to ensure manufacturers use fireproof labelling on all their appliances.
It suggests manufacturers could stamp a metal plate with an identification number, similarly to a vehicle identification number (VIM) used to identify cars.
Which? managing director of home products and services Alex Neil said: “The number of fires caused by faulty washing machines, tumble dryers and fridge freezers has stayed shockingly high for a number of years, but our research shows it’s getting harder to identify the make and model of the appliance in the majority of instances.
“The Government must set out in its forthcoming product safety strategy how it will ensure that manufacturers use fireproof labelling on all their appliances, so that identified dangerous white goods can be quickly removed from people’s homes, and potentially save lives.”