Commenting on the speculation around the cause of the terrible events at Grenfell Tower, Phil Buckle, Chief Executive of the leading charity, Electrical Safety First, said:
“Firstly, on behalf of us all at Electrical Safety First, I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones in the fire – and to all those injured and made homeless, following this deeply disturbing incident.
The cause – or causes – of the tragedy of Grenfell Tower are unlikely to be resolved quickly.
One potential source of the fire has been linked to the use of plastic-encased consumer units, or fuse-boxes. (Since 2016, the national standard for electrical installations – BS7671, or the IET Wiring Regulations – has required the consumer unit enclosure in homes to be made of non-combustible material; i.e. steel, not plastic). This claim has arisen as a result of a seeming increase in fires with this point of origin. But we understand this apparent upsurge is due to a change in reporting by the London Fire Brigade, rather than issues with the materials encasing the consumer unit itself.
There have, however, been a number of reports to suggest that that a fridge may have caused the fire. While this remains unconfirmed, we understand that people – particularly those living in the 4,000 or so tower blocks in the country – might be worried about appliances in their home. We encourage anyone who is concerned about this to visit electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk for advice on product registration and safe use of household appliances.”