Manufacturer changes advice on potentially dangerous tumble dryers

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Categoriesnews Emergencies and safety

Image captionA tower block blaze in a Shepherds Bush Green flat last August is believed to have been caused by an Indesit tumble dryer

A manufacturer, whose tumble dryer was confirmed by investigators to be the cause of a Shepherds Bush fire, has told users to immediately unplug the machines.

Whirlpool has changed its safety advice on the machines, after more than a year of gradual repairs, due to action by trading standards.

“This is too little too late for our residents, but it is a positive step,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion. “The question needs to be asked why this action was not taken when the risks were already known, and before the home-destroying and life-threatening fire in Shepherds Bush last August.

“We will only be fully satisfied when Whirlpool comply with the London Fire Brigade's total recall campaign to make white goods safer, and there are improvements to the national products safety system.”

Cllr Fennimore was one of 75,000 people to sign a petition set-up by consumer champions Which? calling for immediate action on the potentially dangerous dryers.

Which? is also urging people to sign another petition, calling for the Government to urge Whirlpool UL to recall all faulty tumble dryers.

In the August incident, the fire led to the evacuation of the 18-storey Shepherds Court, and resulted in damage across five floors.

Image caption: London Fire Brigade examine the faulty tumble dryer

London Fire Brigade (LFB) confirmed an Indesit tumble dryer is believed to have caused the major tower block blaze.

H&F Council took the step of writing to residents advising them to unplug the machines until they had been modified or replaced.

Whirlpool - which manufactures the Indesit, Hotpoint, Swan and Creda brands - has been accused by Which? of dragging its feet in dealing with the problem.

Its change of heart came on Wednesday, after the company received two enforcement notices from Peterborough trading standards – where Whirlpool’s UK head office is based.

Cllr Fennimore continued: “Whirlpool went public with this problem in November 2015: a full seven months before the devastating impact of the Shepherds Bush fire.

“People will be rightly angry at the way it has tried to resist a recall of these potentially dangerous machines.”

People with an affected Indesit, Hotpoint, Swan or Creda tumble dryer should immediately unplug it.

Further information can be found on whether any further steps need to be taken here:

You can also call a dedicated freephone helpline on 0800 151 0905.

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