VIDEO: Ticking time bomb warning for Sheffield residents over faulty electrical goods
Thousands of Sheffield residents could be sitting on a ticking time bomb by failing to get rid of faulty electrical equipment in their homes - after figures showed dodgy white goods sparked 80 fires across the area last year.
Electrical Safety First revealed that among the dozens of incidents sparked by faulty devices a total of 13 people either died or were seriously injured in the area last year.
The charity said many of the fires are likely to have been caused by white goods that have been recalled for a fault by the manufacturers - but not returned by residents.
The organisation teamed up with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue to warn that data showed thousands of householders across Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley could have faulty white goods in their homes that should have been returned and now pose a potential fire risk.
They said people could be needlessly putting themselves in danger by continuing to use the dodgy goods and urged the public to sign up to a new scheme that allows you to find out if your appliances are among the hundreds of products that have been recalled in recent years.
Trevor Bernard, head of community safety for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: "For consumers, we know that returning a recalled product is not always convenient, especially if it’s an item that you use every day, but recall notices are issued to keep people safe.
"The small inconvenience of returning a recalled item is worth it when you consider that faulty products can electrocute or cause a serious fire.”
The brigade was unable to provide the separated numbers of fatalities and injuries last year as the Home Office figures put these two incidents together under the same category of 'casualties'.
However they said the top three most common faulty goods that caused more than 200 fires since 2011 were tumble dryers, washing machines and cookers.
In January this year a man, woman and their young daughter had to flee their burning home in Laburnum Road, Maltby, after a laptop battery caught fire while the owner was using it.
Firefighters previously issued warnings about problem appliances in April 2014 after five members of the same family were killed in a Sheffield house blaze.
Shabina Begum, aged 53, died along with her three grandchildren - Adyan Parwaiz Kayani, aged nine, Amaan Parwaiz Kayani, aged seven, and their nine-week-old sister Minahil - in the blaze. Mrs Begum’s daughter, Anum Parwaiz, aged 20, the children’s aunt, also died in the fire at the family home in Wake Road, Nether Edge.
Electrical Safety First said 516 electrical goods have been recalled in the UK over the last decade but only 20 per cent of these have been returned or repaired - meaning there are potentially millions of dangerous appliances still in people's homes. The charity added nationwide there were 4, 732 fires caused by faulty electrical goods.
The research comes after the launch of the Government’s new Office for Product Safety and Standards, which is tasked with researching how best to encourage consumers to respond to recall notices.
Phil Buckle, chief executive of Electrical Safety First, said: "We’re urging people to protect themselves from these risks by always registering their products. It only takes a few minutes, and will give you and your family peace of mind that you will be notified if a dangerous product is in your home.”
To check if an electrical item has been recalled visit electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/recall and register an appliance at www.registermyappliance.org.uk/