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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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Last week it was the exploding fridge freezer and this week it’s the tumble dryer fire…

First came the news that on Sunday, a Birmingham woman died, in a fire believed to have been sparked by a tumble dryer. The appliance has been taken away for testing.

This comes in the wake of another fire – this time in Essex – which is believed to have been caused by a tumble dryer, as when the householder entered the kitchen to investigate a burning smell, she saw flames coming from the appliance.

The latest figures available, reveal that fire services were called to 926 tumble dryer fires between 2011 and 2013. Last year, research by Which? showed that tumble dryers were the second biggest cause of house fires, accounting for 12% (behind washing machines, at 14%).

Owners of machines deemed to be at risk of catching fire, have been told to ensure that any lint is removed from the trap after each use, and to keep the vent and any other opening clear while ensuring that the vent pipe is free from kinks and not crushed They have also been  told to use only the vent pipes recommended for tumble dryers, to only vent the warm air to the outside of a building and not to put materials into a drier if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids – all sound advice and perhaps not something of which most members of the general public will necessarily be aware… I’m on my first ever washer/dryer but rarely use the dryer as it ‘takes the stuffing’ out of our things. I wouldn’t have known about fluff, so would suggest that a warning sticker be placed on the front of new machines for people like me to see.

Meanwhile, owners of machines that have been identified as being potentially dangerous, have been asked to make contact with the manufacturers to organise repairs, modifications or replacements.

However good the customer service might be though, one only needs to read through the online forums to realise the impact these issues are having on the brand and the appliance industry in general. So many are warning: “Don’t buy such-and-such a brand!” while others are threatening to return to the old-fashioned practice of using a washing line on a dry day and radiators when it’s raining.

As I said last week, how do we get back from that?



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Jan Hobbs



12th February 2016

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