Warning to motorists after over 50% of cars checked in winter safety campaign are found to have faults

Cleveland Fire Brigade is warning motorists to ensure their car is prepared for winter after over 50% of vehicles checked during a winter safety campaign were found to have one or more faults.

The Brigade teamed up with garages National Tyres and Autocare and Kwik Fit to give free two-minute drive-thru checks including tyres, lights, wipers, fluid levels and washer bottle at Coulby Newham Fire Station.

Of the 75 vehicles that were put through the five point safety check by our partner garages, 56 had one or more faults identified and 14 vehicles had multiple faults identified.

This year tyre pressure was found to be a major failing. Almost half the vehicles checked had either under or over inflated tyres.

Seventeen vehicles had low engine oil levels meaning there is an increased risk of over-heating, break-down or the engine seizing. Thirteen cars had bulbs blown, one had a perished tyre and another had the wheel nuts fastened the wrong way round.

Only 19 vehicles had a clean bill of health.

Andrew Bright, Learn and Live Co-ordinator with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Once again we got a great response from motorists calling in to have their cars checked over. It was however worrying that so many deficiencies were found that could have affected driver safety.

“Most of the faults were issues that should be getting picked up with routine driver checks and maintenance. Incorrect tyre pressures was a common failing and is something that can easily affect vehicle handling, stability and braking efficiency.

“A ‘two minute check’ is a vital investment to prevent getting into difficulty on the road – and could even save a life. Our message is don’t wait till your car is next in the garage for MOT or service – it might be too late. Most reputable garages offer a free winter safety check similar to the one we conducted and I would encourage motorists to take the opportunity to have their car checked out and make sure they don’t get caught out as the weather becomes more challenging.

Mr Bright added his thanks to National Tyres and Autocare and Kwik-Fit who supported the event.

*Although the car checks were free, motorists kindly donated a total of £71 towards The Fire Fighters Charity.”

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade

Warning comes as electrical fires account for over a quarter of accidental house fires

Cleveland Fire Brigade in partnership with leading campaigning charityElectrical Safety First is urging householders to look after their household white goods.

The timely call comes during Electrical Safety Week this week (20-27 November) where Fire and Rescue Services across the country reach out to their communities to remind them how they can reduce the risk of an electrical fire in their home.

Domestic electrical white goods, such as dishwashers, tumble dryers and fridge freezers are one of the leading causes of electrical fires in England. Last year, 1,873 fires were caused by white goods, the equivalent of over five fires per day.

Across Teesside, although the number of accidental house fires have reduced, (171 in 2014/15 to 137 in 2016/17) more than a quarter of them are caused by electrical equipment and a quarter of those are caused by white goods.

Cleveland Fire Brigade and Electrical Safety First have some simple tips to help people use the white goods in their homes safely:

  1. Always buy from a reputable dealer/manufacturer and never buy second hand white goods.
  2. Always register your appliance with the manufacturer so you can be notified if there’s a problem. Visit registermyappliance.org.uk
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. If you’re concerned about an appliance in your home, use Electrical Safety First’s online product checker to see if it has been recalled.
  5. Visit whitegoodsafety.com for advice on using your appliances safely.

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection at Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “A high number of fires in Teesside are caused by the misuse of electrical appliances and these can be easily prevented. A house fire can have devastating and long term effects, not only destroying belongings and memories but also putting you and your loved ones at risk. We are urging everybody to follow our simple advice that will help them to stay safe in their homes.”

Phil Buckle, Chief Executive at Electrical Safety First commented: “Electricity is the cause of over half of all domestic house fires in England each year. Faulty appliances and installations along with the misuse of electricity are amongst the major causes of these electrical fires, leading to avoidable deaths and injuries. With more than five fires a day in England caused by white goods, the Government needs to take immediate action to reduce this figure.”

Source:: Cleveland Fire Brigade