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Malfunctioning household appliances over a three-year period caused around 12,000 fires in Britain, research by the consumer group Which? has stated.

The research suggested that the main culprits were washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers and as a result of this, Which? is urging people to register the appliances that they buy with manufacturers. This would mean that they could be alerted of any recall. The group also brought forward research that was found by Electrical Safety First, which found that only a third of people register the electrical appliances they buy. Therefore, it is unlikely that they would be notified if manufacturers recall faulty items.

Obtained using the Freedom of Information Act, the government figures cover January 2011 to March 2014.

There is no doubt that this is a huge health and safety risk, with many products bought by consumers considered to be faulty and the reason for a fire to start. At the top of the scale, washing machines take 14% of the blame, causing a total of 1,723 fires. As stated, tumble dryers are also in the mix, causing 1,456 fires, about 12% of the total.

Dishwashers took 11% of the blame, cookers stand at 9%, fridges and freezers at 7%, central heating 5%, toasters, grills and microwaves at 4%, TVs 3%, washer dryers 2% and finally, irons at the bottom with 1%. These percentages were found by Which?.

This is also a wakeup call for manufacturers and businesses that sell these appliances and because of the results that have been found the government is reviewing the system for recalling appliances that may cause a threat to households.


The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA),  has been called on by the consumer body Which? to deal with the situations over confusing and misleading supermarket prices.

Despite Which? exposing the tactics several times, the offers still remain on supermarket shelves. The legal move, which is called a super-complaint, has now been launched meaning that the regualtor has to respond within 90 days.

The complaints main gripes are about the special offers, difficulty in comparing prices and the packet sizes of products that seem to never stop shrinking yet have no price reduction. supermarket wars

Consumers could be buying products that they would not otherwise have bought if they were not on offer. According to the retail analysts Kantar Worldpanel, around 40% of food in Great Britain is currently sold on promotion.

Which? is one of five consumer bodies that has control over making a super-complaint and did so previously in 2011 and asked the regulator then, the Office of Fair Trading, to look into the excessive credit and debit card surcharges. They also made super-complaints on care homes, Northern Ireland Banking, private dentistry and the Scottish legal profession.

The first steps of the CMA could be that they request a market study and demand further information from the supermarkets before pushing into a full-blown investigation.

Also See: Supermarket Sweep: The rise of the discounters