Faulty and potentially deadly tumble dryers must be urgently recalled, fire authorities have said, as new figures show three fires a day are caused by exploding machines. There were 2,190 tumble dryer-related fires between 2012 and 2014 according to the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 48 fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales.
Manufacturers Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda are in the process of fixing an estimated 4.3 million faulty tumble dryers across the UK after their parent company, Whirlpool, notified customers of a widespread safety defect last October.
The fault can lead to excess fluff catching the heating element in the machine and potentially causing a fire. But families at the centre of the scandal are being sold “faulty” and potentially deadly models as replacements for up to £99, or facing waits of up to 11 months for repairs as Whirlpool has not issued a full product recall.
The LGA warned that companies running lengthy repair programmes for potentially dangerous machines instead of recalling them are “risking the lives of millions of customers”. It also called for all white goods to have fireproof markings on them which allow identification of the manufacturer, model and serial number.
It comes as the Retail Ombudsman, an arbiter of consumer disputes, has launched a service called “UK Recall” to allow customers to sign up for automatic alerts if one of their products is deemed faulty or unsafe.
Jeremy Hilton, chairman of the LGA’s fire services management committee, said: “People using faulty tumble dryers are unwittingly playing Russian roulette. Leading manufacturers need to recall affected models as soon as possible to protect their customers. “Firefighters are attending tumble dryer fires three times a day, which is alarming. These defective products are endangering lives, causing thousands of pounds of damage to homes and making people homeless.”
The LGA also warned that the machines should never be left on overnight, or while no-one is at home.
Original source: Telegraph