HC Deb 25 March 1999 vol 328 cc358-9W
Mrs. Roe

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action the Government are taking to ensure that non-working surfaces on cooking and heating appliances do not reach dangerously high temperatures. [78355]

Mr. Battle

The safety of gas and electrical appliances is controlled by the Gas Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1995 and the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, which implement European Safety Directives into UK law. Both these Regulations address surface temperatures.

European Safety Standards have been developed, UK participation being by the British Standards Institution, which give a presumption of conformity with the requirements of the Regulations. These standards do include temperature limits, which officials within my Department are continually trying to see lowered, particularly as technology advances.

A recent enforcement action by the UK resulted in the European Commission declaring one of these standards defective and asking the standards-making bodies to review the standards on household appliances to ensure that temperature limits are adequately addressed.