Glass on top of just shat­tered

MR J’sTOP CON­SUMER TIPS

Sunday Sun - - Mr Justice -

IT could be a bad win­ter if fore­casts are to be be­lieved. And with bad weather comes the in­creased like­li­hood of hav­ing a car ac­ci­dent.

Here are some tips on what to do if you are un­for­tu­nate enough to have a prang.

They come cour­tesy of Smart­driver­club, which of­fers a telem­at­ics-based in­surance and ad­vice ser­vice.

Look around and check if you need to call the emer­gency ser­vices.

If your ac­ci­dent means the road is blocked, you should def­i­nitely call the po­lice.

Call your in­surer as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter a crash as most com­pa­nies have time lim­its in their poli­cies.

It is also worth not­ing that you should al­ways in­form your car in­surer of an ac­ci­dent even if you don’t wish to make a claim. Smart­driver­club has some tips on what to do if you have an ac­ci­dent in the AN IKEA cus­tomer has raised safety con­cerns af­ter a glass top ex­ploded for no ap­par­ent rea­son.

Richard Win­ship heard a loud noise when he was in an­other part of the house and rushed to in­ves­ti­gate what had hap­pened.

He dis­cov­ered the top, part of IKEA’s Besta range, had shat­tered.

Or­na­ments and pieces of glass were scat­tered on the floor.

The wall and the unit on which it was placed were dam­aged by the blast.

Now he has called for the sale of the top, part of a mix and match fur­ni­ture range, to be banned while an in­ves­ti­ga­tion takes place.

But IKEA say they are tak­ing no fur­ther ac­tion.

Richard, 55, said: “I bought a new house three years ago and filled it with IKEA fur­ni­ture. I was sit­ting hav­ing lunch and heard an almighty bang.

“The glass was ev­ery­where but there was no rea­son for the ex­plo­sion.

“We don’t have chil­dren, or pets, so we know noth­ing like that was the cause.

“This should not hap­pen and I am wor­ried from a health and safety point of view.

“I’m just glad no-one was sit­ting on the sofa when it hap­pened or they could have been in­jured.”

Richard, a lec­turer, called IKEA but was not im­pressed at the way they han­dled the com­plaint.

They said the top was out of war­ranty and it would not be re­placed.

IKEA said the top, which is made of tem­pered glass, shat­ters into small cubes and not in long shards. They said the cause of the ex­plo­sion could be a pre­vi­ous strike or even just a scratch which had caused ten­sion in the glass.

Richard said: “They said it was the na­ture of tem­pered glass to shat­ter when ex­posed to knocks, strikes or scratches.

“They ad­mit­ted it can be loud and per­ceived as quite dra­matic with glass spread­ing widely.

“I used to work in a glass pro­cess­ing fac­tory and I know some­thing about glass. To break it you have to re­ally hit it. This ex­plo­sion hap­pened for no rea­son.

“This is a real safety con­cern and I be­lieve all other Besta prod­ucts should be with­drawn un­til a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been un­der­taken.

“We were very lucky as we were hav­ing lunch in an­other room when this piece of glass ex­ploded or a se­ri­ous in­jury may have oc­curred.”

There has been spate of sim­i­lar in­ci­dents in­volv­ing IKEA glass fur­ni­ture.

The Mir­ror re­ported how in July Dan Chilcott, of Bris­tol, was watch­ing TV when the room was show­ered with glass from a self-as­sem­bly unit just feet away. He had bought the pop­u­lar £40 De­tolf cab­i­net only three days ear­lier.

Dan, 28, said: “There was a loud bang as if some­one had thrown some­thing at it and it shat­tered into frag­ments.

“It seemed to phys­i­cally ex­plode. I just thought, ‘What on earth was that?’”

And in March Eileen and Ken Perkins, of Ip­swich, told how they thought they were be­ing bur­gled when their cab­i­net ex­ploded in the mid­dle of the night.

A spokes­woman for IKEA said: “The safety of our prod­ucts is our high­est pri­or­ity and our en­tire range is tested rig­or­ously.

“We un­der­stand the ex­pe­ri­ence of the glass break­ing can be dis­tress­ing, how­ever all of our glass ta­ble tops are made of tem­pered glass.

“Tem­pered glass is de­signed to shat­ter to min­imise risk of in­jury.

“Over time small knocks and frac­tures can af­fect the dura­bil­ity of tem­pered glass and this can cause break­age, even if such dam­age isn’t vis­i­ble. We have been in di­rect con­tact with the cus­tomer and we are cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter fur­ther.”

If you don’t stop or re­port the in­ci­dent at a po­lice sta­tion within 24 hours, it is classed as an of­fence un­der the Road Safety Act and could re­sult in points, a fine or even a cus­to­dial sen­tence.

If an­other per­son is in­jured you must show your in­surance cer­tifi­cate to the po­lice at the scene or at a po­lice sta­tion within 7 days.

If any­one else in­volved in the crash fails to stop make note of their reg­is­tra­tion plate and call the po­lice im­me­di­ately.

Once ev­ery­one in­volved in the ac­ci­dent is in a safe place, swap de­tails.

Get the driver’s name, ad­dress, car reg­is­tra­tion, in­surance de­tails and es­tab­lish if they are the reg­is­tered keeper of the ve­hi­cle, if not then you will need the owner’s in­for­ma­tion too.

While it’s fresh in your me­mory, note down the time and lo­ca­tion of the crash, make and model of any cars in­volved, pas­sen­ger de­tails, weather con­di­tions, traf­fic con­di­tions, road mark­ings and the events of the crash.

At the scene take pic­tures and/or draw sketches of the ve­hi­cles, the dam­age and road con­di­tions.

If you have a telem­at­ics pol­icy your in­surer should con­tact you be­fore you con­tact them.

They will have reg­is­tered the col­li­sion and will want to check you are OK and of­fer help at the scene.

They will also col­lect the de­tails to progress an in­surance claim.

The key dif­fer­ence with a telem­at­ics pol­icy is that the in­surer will be able to see the ex­act cir­cum­stances of the ac­ci­dent which will speed up the claims process.

Penny Sear­les, Smart­driver­club CEO said: “It can be dif­fi­cult to think straight when you’ve just had a prang with an­other car.

“Even if no-one’s hurt it’s still quite a shock and emo­tions can run high.

“Keep­ing a cool head and en­sur­ing as much in­for­ma­tion is gath­ered about the cir­cum­stances and the other driver is vi­tal.

“This is where a telem­at­ics pol­icy can re­ally help as we will know where and when the ac­ci­dent hap­pened and the force of the crash.

“With this knowl­edge we can be proac­tive in sup­port­ing our cus­tomer at the scene, call­ing them and, if nec­es­sary con­tact­ing emer­gency ser­vices.

“This proac­tive ap­proach is also help­ful in crash for cash scams, with the data show­ing us that the col­li­sion was con­trived, pro­vid­ing proof of in­no­cence for our cus­tomer.”

Smart­driver­club works through a match-box shaped Smart­plug which slots in un­der the dash­board.

Once con­nected, it feeds data from the car to Smart­driver­club’s smart­phone app ‘View­point’ so that the driver can see any emerg­ing me­chan­i­cal is­sues, ex­actly where the car is lo­cated, fuel use, trips and mileage in­curred for busi­ness or per­sonal use and when the MOT and tax are due.

The IKEA glass top in Richard Win­ship’s home ex­ploded

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