New figures show fires in London involving white goods have cost the economy over £118 million over the last five years.
The data has been published as part of London Fire Brigade’s (LFB) Total Recalls campaign which aims to make sure the public is better protected from potentially lethal faulty white goods.
It comes after its investigation into the cause of the massive blaze which destroyed homes in a block of flats in Shepherd’s Bush found the cause to be a faulty Indesit tumble dryer subject to a safety notice.
The LFB says since 2011 its firefighters have attended 2,072 white goods related fires - almost one blaze a day.
The Brigade has calculated that each domestic fire costs the economy an estimated £57,000 which takes into account a number of factors including damage caused and the cost of the fire service response.
The statistics from January 1, 2011 until September 30 this year shows that Croydon is the borough most affected by these fires, with 114 at a cost of over £6.5 million.
Firefighter on the devastating flames they tackled
The Brigade’s campaign has been endorsed by Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter who tabled an Early Day Motion which expresses deep concern about the potential fire risk currently posed by white goods such as dishwashers, washing machines, tumble dryers, fridges and freezers, and the inadequacies of product recalls.
The London Fire Commissioner has written to every London MP urging them to back the campaign. The Brigade is also asking people to write to their MP about Total Recalls and share their stories about white goods fires or concerns they have.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “The recent tumble dryer blaze in Shepherd’s Bush showed the devastation white goods fires can cause and now we see the huge cost of them to the public purse.
“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.”
The publication of the figures comes a week after a Brigade investigation concluded that a faulty Indesit tumble dryer subject to a safety notice was the cause of a huge Shepherd’s Bush tower block blaze.
Parent company Whirlpool still maintains that people may continue to use the affected dryers while they are waiting for them to be modified, as long as they are not left unattended.
Watch as smoke billows from burning block of flats
The Brigade strongly disagrees and is urging anyone with one of the models in question to immediately unplug the machine and stop using it.
The fire in Shepherd’s Bush started in the kitchen on the seventh floor flat belonging to Debbie Defreitas. She was at home at the time but was unable to stop the inferno starting.
Five families affected have now begun legal proceedings against Whirlpool.
The manufacturers say it is still carrying out its own investigation into the fire.