27.11.15 Family's tumble dryer bursts into flames just days before safety warning by Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda

17-02-2016

Clive Eyre found 4ft high flames shooting out of his Hotpoint appliance which was just feet away from potentially explosive oxygen tanks

A family’s tumble dryer burst into flames - just days before it was revealed that millions of the appliances would be recalled due to fears about fires.

Clive Eyre, 50, found 4ft high flames shooting out of his Hotpoint tumble dryer which was only feet away from potentially explosive oxygen tanks used by his son Ryan, 19, for a medical condition.

The incident happened just days before brands Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda , announced that tumble dryers sold since 2004 may need a repair due to a fire risk.

Mr Eyre, a driving instructor, of Southampton, Hants, turned on his Hotpoint dryer, which was in a garage less than 5ft from his house after returning home from work.

Just ten minutes later the electricity in the house suddenly went off and after the father of two flipped a switch in the fuse box it went out again.  It was only after going to the garage that he discovered flames shooting out of the tumble dryer.

He unplugged the appliance before dousing the flames with the help of his neighbour.

The fire caused £550 damage and was only feet away from potentially-explosive oxygen tanks stored in the house to treat his son Ryan’s medical condition “It would have been a massive explosion.  “It was just by chance that it happened.  “I’m really lucky that I saw it and it didn’t get any worse because it was only on fire less than 10 minutes.”

A review, following Whirlpool’s acquisition of Hotpoint and Indesit, identified the potential fire-risk affecting Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda brands.

The fire-risk is caused by excess fluff accumulated in the filter which could come into contact with the heating element in the machines.  There are around 30 million Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda machines in the UK but it is not clear how many are affected by the fault.

Owners of the models, air-vented and condensing dryer sold between April 2004 and October 2015, are being warned not to leave the machines running unattended.

It is also recommended that excess lint is removed from the filter after each use.

Customers can check online if their appliance is one of those affected by typing in the model and serial number on the dryer's website.

Indesit says it is still in the process of contacting affected customers, who are being warned not to leave their devices unattended.  Regarding the ongoing risk an Indesit spokesman said: “We estimate that a significant number of units will be affected, but at this stage, we cannot speculate regarding the specific figure.

“These products were marketed in the UK and a number of other countries over the past 11 years, so we would expect a fairly large number of them to be affected.”

A safety warning on the Indesit and Hotpoint websites said: “In some rare cases, excess fluff can come into contact with the heating element and present a risk of fire.”

Hotpoint did not respond to a request for comment.

Turnbull Fire Consultancy Ltd provide a link to the UK branch of the Association of Fire Investigators “Product Recalls” web page.  If you would like to know if your products have been recently recalled by manufacturers then click here and follow the link.

Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

Resources used:

http://www.mirror.co.uk

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