How safe is your kitchen? Our system for recalling faulty gas cookers isn't good enough

It is my firm belief that had we seen Beko's recall notices for their faulty cookers my son and his friend would still be alive today

Share
Related Topics

The system of product recalls in this country is in complete disarray.

Recall UK estimate that between 1.5 and two million dangerous household appliances have been recalled by major manufacturers since 2011. They estimate that more than one million of those products have never been found. Dishwashers, fridge freezers and tumble dryers have been causing hundreds of fires up and down the country.

For me, the battle to highlight the failings in the system is personal. The 13th November will be a day I dread for the rest my life. This was the date in 2010 that I discovered my son Richard and his friend Kevin dead from the effects of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, at a home they shared in Saltash, Cornwall. Those mental images will haunt me for the rest of my life.

The effect on me and my wife was so traumatic, it resulted in both of us taking early retirement. At the time nothing in life seemed important anymore, we had just lost our youngest son in the prime of his life and everything else was of little consequence. Richard was a very laid back person, very gentle, very friendly and a person who loved his music and playing the guitar. Both he and Kevin had a huge circle of friends. This was evident at their funeral when the church was overflowing.

When the police informed us that their deaths might be linked to their cooker it was unbelievable, we were devastated. It had never entered our thoughts that the cooker could in some way be responsible, because we had bought it for Richard in November 2008. We were later informed the grill door of the cooker had been shut while the grill was on. This caused huge emissions of carbon monoxide which resulted in the death of Richard and Kevin. Who would have thought shutting something as simple as a grill door could cause the death of two healthy lads? The cooker was a Flavel Milano 50 ML5NDS, manufactured by Beko, the UK's most popular producer of household appliances.

Shortly afterwards it was discovered that this particular gas cooker had been the subject of recall notices due to their faulty design and needed an urgent modification. Unfortunately we never saw these recall notices. At the same time we learnt that this particular type of cooker was still being sold by retailers, even after the recall notices had been issued by Beko.

It is my firm belief that had we seen Beko's recall notices Richard and Kevin would still be alive today.

Since the deaths of our sons, my wife and I have become firm friends with Kevin’s mum, Denise. Together it has been our goal to raise the awareness of the devastating effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. We are also trying to get present laws amended and new legislation introduced so no other families experience what we have gone through.

Beko complied with all the current requirements in terms of recalling the faulty cookers. We therefore want to ensure that the recall system is not left in the hands of the manufacturers, but to appoint an independent advisor to oversee the process. RecallUK have developed a four step product recall improvement plan which would the be the logical way ahead and I fully support it.

While the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the government department with ultimate responsibility for recalls, say they are satisfied with the current system, I refuse to stand by and watch one more family endure the heartbreak of losing a family member to one of these silent killing machines.

Beko have not admitted liability for any of the deaths. Coroners have ruled that the deaths were accidents. A spokesperson for Beko said: "We deeply regret the incidents involving a limited number of our models and unreservedly and sincerely apologise to everyone who has been affected. Beko's highest priority is the safety of our customers. Beko is just one of many manufacturers to have launched product recalls in recent years. In addition, Beko's success rate in finding affected models is 3-4 times greater than the industry average of 10-20%, as reported by the Electrical Safety Council. We continue to work hard to identify the outstanding affected appliances. It is important to avoid confusing and panicking the public and to reassure them that all the Beko affected products referred to are no longer in production."

How Safe is Your Kitchen? airs on Thursday at 7.30pm on ITV

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Tax Solicitor

£40000 - £70000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Tax Solicitor An excel...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Support Analyst

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: This is an exce...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Children of a bygone era  

Kids these days aren't what they used to be — they're a lot better. So why the fuss?

Archie Bland
A suited man eyes up the moral calibre of a burlesque troupe  

Be they burlesque dancers or arms dealers, a bank has no business judging the morality of its clients

John Walsh
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz