A recent report from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has highlighted the flaws in the current product safety regime and the serious fire risk faulty electrical appliances present. Adrian Keats from Honeywell’s Home Safety business warns installers of the importance of ensuring homeowners are adequately protected against the dangers of fire:
“According to government figures, between April 2016 and March 2017, there were 261 fire-related deaths, and a further 7,100 non-fatal casualties. While this is a decline on previous years, fire is still undoubtedly an ongoing danger within the home, particularly when you consider new figures showing the number of residential fires started by electrical appliances.
“With firefighters dealing with 676 fires between 2015 and 2016 caused by tumble dryers alone, it is important to advise consumers on the danger that can be posed by seemingly innocent household appliances. Furthermore, they must have the correct protection in place to allow them to react in case of a fire,” says Adrian.
“Installers are ideally placed to advise homeowners on such safeguarding measures. For instance, discussing the correct siting of high-quality, sealed smoke and heat alarms to ensure that they have enough time to evacuate the building in the event of a fire. It’s vital that every home has reliable smoke alarms, especially since those with a working unit have been found to have a death rate that is seven times lower than those without one. A heat alarm should also be placed in the kitchen to protect against fast-flaming fires, which produce little smoke but plenty of heat and can go undetected for some time if the incorrect alarm is used.
“UK fire safety has come a long way, but there are still plenty of misconceptions amongst consumers when it comes to choosing the appropriate alarms for their home. When an installer is in a customer’s home, taking the time to advise on alarms will not only build trust and ensure safety, the unit itself can also be a good upsell opportunity.”