10.10.16 Fire chiefs call for customers to stop using Whirlpool tumble dryers following huge flat block fire


Could your dryer catch fire?

Fire officers are criticising a tumble dryer maker that is advising millions of customers that its machines are safe to use but should not be left unattended.

Owners of Whirlpool tumble dryers with a known fault have been warned by fire chiefs to stop using them immediately after it was found that one of the machines was the cause of a huge fire in a tower block in London.

Tumble dryers made by Whirlpool brands Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda made between April 2004 and September 2015 have been made subject to a safety notice after it was found that excess fluff was coming into contact with the machine's heating element, causing a fire risk.

It is reported that the safety notice affects around 5.3 million tumble dryers around the world, and Whirlpool has advised users to keep an eye on the machines while they are in operation until an engineer can come and correct the fault.

However, London Fire Brigade has now stated that the company should change its advice and tell customers to simply not use the tumble dryers.  This comes after a blaze broke out in an 18 storey tower block in Shepherd's Bush, London, which took 120 fire fighters to bring under control.

The fire brigade also reissued their calls for people to get behind their Total Recalls campaign and have the dryers put out of use.

Dave Brown, the director of operations for London Fire Brigade, said: "This fire has highlighted just how dangerous faulty white goods can be.  Disappointingly though, Whirlpool have still not changed their advice to consumers.

"Following the conclusion of our investigation, we are now appealing once again for them to change their advice and bring it into line with our own. Thankfully there were no serious injuries in the Shepherd's Bush fire but we may not be so lucky if it happens again.  It was vital that we conducted such a robust and systematic investigation to get a clear picture of what happened.  Following an exhaustive examination of the scene and the remains of the appliance by our specialist fire investigators, we remain satisfied the cause was the faulty dryer."

Whirlpool has issued a statement echoing its previous advice to customers, which advise those with their machines to check to see if their tumble dryers are affected and order a modification kit if necessary.

Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

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