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


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Sadly, another couple and their children have had their lives changed drastically thanks to a tumble drier fire which devastated their home and killed their cats. And as they weren't insured, it's not just psychological issues they'll have to deal with...

I gather the appliance was around 10 years old but had appeared to be in good working order. This begs the question: How old is too old when it comes to an appliance?

Further, should some appliances be automatically scrapped after a certain period, or even built to automatically disable themselves after a set number of uses, for safety's sake?

I bought my first dryer a couple of years ago when my washing machine started to fail. We could live with some programmes no longer working but when the thing stopped spinning properly I realised it had to go. My daughters had been on at me for years to buy a tumble dryer but as there's no room for one I opted for a washer dryer.

As I'd never used a drying programme, the first time I tried it I used what I believed would be the coolest dry - wool. And instead of letting it go through the full cycle I turned it off after 10 minutes. The machine and contents were, surprisingly, very hot. My barely-used poly-cotton duvet set had gone thin and see-through and looked decades old and my whites - washed so many times without issue - were dyed blue in places.

As you may imagine, I've not used the dryer part of my machine since, so it turned out to be an expensive buy - but at least I still have my house! Now I'm wondering whether I shouldn't be using the machine at all...

Experts have said that no-one should leave a tumble dryer running when they're out. If this is good advice, it's a little worrying as it's almost admitting that the appliance is unsafe.

I wonder... How much maintenance information is provided in most manuals? Is the need to regularly empty filters given enough prominence or is it buried under installation instructions and several language sections back? Is the English understandable and the diagrams clear? These crucial points should be checked by manufacturers. Going further, should we consider supplying machines with warning stickers on the front, or even as part of the controls themselves? Or can an automatic filter-emptying feature be incorporated? More clearly needs to be done, but what?



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Jan Hobbs



10th November 2017

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