On Wednesday 1st November, Sir David took part in a Westminster Hall debate titled 'Residential Premises: Product Safety and Fire Risk'. During the debate the MP for Southend West called for housing associations and local authorities to provide free mandatory electrical safety checks for appliances. It was highlighted that in 2016, 1,873 fires were caused by domestic white goods (large electrical goods used domestically such as refrigerators and washing machines), a figure that the local MP labelled as truly shocking.
Furthermore, Sir David went on to praise the work of the Government to tackle this issue:
“The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills established a working group on product recalls and safety in July this year, and I congratulate the Government on that. Its key recommendations are: having centralised technical and scientific resource capability, to support decision making and co-ordination of activity in local authorities and the businesses they regulate; having a detailed code of practice that is informed by behavioural insights research; and considering establishing central capacity to co-ordinate product safety corrective actions. Furthermore, it was recommended that manufacturers and retailers work together, through standards-setting bodies, to develop technological solutions to product marking. Finally, the registration by consumers of appliances and other consumer goods with the manufacturers should be encouraged, to make corrective actions—including product recalls—more effective.”
The MP for Southend West concluded his contribution to the debate by making it clear that he and his colleagues, as members of the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group, must be listened to when it comes to making recommendations to help prevent serious fire disasters in the future:
“Our all-party fire safety rescue group does good work, and if we had been listened to, I believe that the Grenfell disaster would not have taken place. I do not want to be giving interviews after there is a fire in a school, to find that our recommendation that all new school buildings have sprinklers fitted was ignored. The voices of the hon. Members for Poplar and Limehouse, and for Hammersmith, should be listened to. The figures are shocking. We had the recommendation from the working group and from London fire brigade. Now is the time for action. We do not want to read terrible headlines yet again in our newspapers in the months and years to come.”
The full Hansard report for the debate can be found by following this link: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2017-11-01/debates/04FEFFE7-E9EE-…