Hartlepool families urged to check appliance safety in wake of Grenfell Tower disaster

A fridge-freezer is started to have sparked the Grenfell Tower fire, in which at least 80 people died.
A fridge-freezer is started to have sparked the Grenfell Tower fire, in which at least 80 people died.

Fire chiefs are urging Hartlepool people to check the safety of 'white goods' in their homes following the Grenfell Tower fire.

The blaze in the London borough of Kensington, in which at least 80 people are thought to have died, was started by a fridge freezer.

Phil Lancaster, director of community protection with Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Phil Lancaster, director of community protection with Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Now Cleveland Fire Brigade is backing London Fire Brigade's Total Recalls campaign, which encourages people to review the fire safety of their appliances.

Latest figures show that in the first six months of this year, 21% of all fires in Cleveland involved faulty electrical equipment.

Phil Lancaster, director of community protection with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “In the last six months, a fifth of accidental house fires across the area have been related to faulty electrical equipment.

"Our priority is keeping people safe in their homes, and we urge all Hartlepool residents to ensure their electrical equipment is in good working order.

A Hotpoint fridge-freezer is thought to have caused the Grenfell Tower blaze.

A Hotpoint fridge-freezer is thought to have caused the Grenfell Tower blaze.

“In addition to taking sensible precautions, such as not overloading sockets and regularly checking cables for signs of wear and tear and fraying, we advise people to register their appliances with manufacturers, to ensure they are notified in case of a problem with their model.”

The Grenfell investigation has identified the make and model of the appliance which sparked the fire as a Hotpoint FF175BP fridge-freezer, but it has not been subject to any product recall.

People who own a Hotpoint fridge-freezer model number FF175BP (white) or FF175BG (grey) are advised to call the freephone hotline 0800 316 3826 or visit www.hotpointservice.co.uk/fridgefreezer to register their details for further updates.

What you can do:

1. Register your appliances directly with the manufacturer or via www.registermyappliance.org.uk/ which will alert you to any safety repairs or recalls.

2. Please remember to follow standard safety advice, not overload plugs, ensure sockets are not damaged, and check cables and leads are in good condition.

3. Check products against recall lists at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/product-recalls/ or the Government’s portal at www.gov.uk/productrecall.

Immediate steps you can take to guard against fires in white goods

1. If you think there may be a problem with an electrical appliance, always unplug it and contact the manufacturer or a qualified appliance repair technician.

2. Fit a minimum of one smoke alarm per floor in your home and fit enough to cover all areas where a fire could start, making sure they are tested regularly.

3. Plan how you would get out in the event of a fire in your home.

4. If a fire does start, don’t try to fight it. Get Out, Stay Out and Call 999.

5. Make sure white goods are not positioned in escape routes, so if they do catch fire they don’t block your way out of the property. For more safety advice visit www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/electrical.