A fire that started in a Housing Association block of flats, was reported in June 2014. The cause of the fire at time of writing this article is unknown but the fire reportedly caused 30 people to be evacuated. Most of them at the time became homeless but subsequently a Moat Housing Spokesman stated that 9 people were made homeless.
The fire officer Syd Barrett from Chelmsford Fire Station said that the fire broke out at around 01.55 in the morning and was eventually under control at around 03.30
It became evident that 6 properties experienced severe damage and would require significant repairs.
We’ve blogged this article to highlight the true costs of a house fire and especially the damage that can be caused to properties surrounding the immediate vicinity of a fire. There were four fire engines attending the scene, and all the firemen required to man that operation. The amount of water that must have been used needs to be taken into account, as does the pollution to the environment. Particularly as we are seeking to reduce carbon emissions and reduce pollution as part of government targets. Then there is all the associated costs of working with the local authority in trying to house the people and supply them with their basic needs until they are able to return home. Not to mention the personal effects loss for some and the mental stress on their own personal lives.
These are just some of things we should consider if we have the opportunity to prevent fires, caused by any means. Electrical Safety is a huge priority in prevention and anything that risks a fire should be mitigated to the highest possible level. It’s for this reason we continue to highlight the need for all households to register their Large domestic appliances with our National Appliance Safety Register.
Product Recall Dangers
The last time it was researched by the then Electrical Safety Council, the whereabouts of approximately 80% of all Product recalls were unknown. Add to that, the fact that in the month of May and June 2014 there were three new Large Appliance Recalls approximating to a total of one million new fire risks in homes in the UK. Remember, it’s not just old Appliances that become Product Recalls there are nearly 300 historical recalls, all of which were new once.
We would urge all households, Landlords and Housing Associations to Register with EEESafe. It’s free and provides an ongoing monitoring service and can also reduce the insurance costs to Landlords and Housing Associations. We shudder to think how much the repair bill will be to Moat Housing and the impact it will have on their renewal premiums. Our Register doesn’t target customers with anything, is independent and does not require a site visit.
So will this increase cost through insurance and repairs mean they seek more funding, or charge more rent to cover those increased costs. We don’t know for sure, but we can all agree that “Prevention is better than Cure”. We continue to lobby all UK Governments on this to clarify more clearly in legislation and/or guidance, that Product Recalls in rented property must be mitigated against fire risks. Our Register is already growing and the offer of a Free Service should not be taken lightly. Particularly when the outcomes of working with us, mean we help the impoverished, reduce debt, encourage local regeneration and lower appliance repair bills.
A Fridge Fire in same county
One final point here, is that on the 24th of July 2014, the same regional fire service were called to put a fire out in a flat, caused by a fridge. Although it’s not known what the cause of Moat Housing fire was, it’s now not beyond any stretch of the imagination to realise just how much damage can be caused. We urge all Landlords and households to think not just of themselves, but their families, neighbours and the cost to the public purse.
2000 Fires were caused by faulty large appliances in one year through 2011-2012. We have a great fire service throughout the United Kingdom and it’s thanks to them that the cost to lives and property are kept to a minimum, but they will be the first to tell you that prevention is better than cure.
If you need more convincing to register your appliances, then watch this 45 second video, and see what the Fire Service say about Product Recalls.