Did you know that there are 3 tumble dryer fires per day in the UK alone!
Since 2004 there have been over 750 tumble dryer fires as a result of a design fault. The models affected come under the umbrella of Whirlpool, Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline, Creda and Swan as they’re all actually manufactured by Whirlpool. There is an issue with the heating element being too close to the filter, which collects the excess lint and fluff from the clothes being dried. This results in the heating element and lint coming into contact, essentially creating kindling from the lint. This gets hot and can easily catch fire. As a result, these products, millions of them, are not fit for purpose and should not be used.
This happened to me so could easily happen to you too.
It was a quiet Sunday afternoon in February 2016 when my husband and I were stood in our kitchen discussing the washing (because we’re so rock and roll now we’re in our 30’s!) Suddenly there was a loud pop noise from my small Indesit Tumble Dryer that was just a few feet away. We both immediately turned to look what was happening and saw that the dryer had begun to churn out large amounts of black smoke. Thank goodness my instincts kicked in and all those years in the Fire Service came to my rescue. I immediately instructed my husband to close the inner doors of the house and go to our daughter who was in the living room. He did, bless him, and followed up by ensuring the dogs and child were out the front door and all the doors were closed behind him. Once I knew they were safe I proceeded to turn off the dryer at the socket. Rendering it unconscious but still churning out some serious smoke. I had already opened the back door of my house and knew my family was safe at the front; completely away from any danger.
“My instincts kicked in – I instructed my family out of the house”
I used the back of my hand to touch the dryer in the areas where I knew I would need to touch it in order to get it out of my house and found that they were still reasonably cool. As a result, I dragged the machine the 10 yards or so out into my back garden and well away from both the door to the house and the shed. I checked above to make sure there were no overhanging trees or wires that could potentially assist in spreading any fire that might continue. Luckily, it was traditionally naff British weather conditions so within a matter of minutes the dryer was soaked and had stopped spitting smoke at me.
It’s safe to say that my experience is not one I would wish on anyone. It’s scary! I know of the dangers of white goods and one of my main messages through the Yorkshire Pudding is to ensure that you don’t leave any items like washers, dryers or dishwashers on overnight or when you leave the house (may I say this is especially important if you live in a communal building or leave pets at home during the day! Think about the people/animals it might affect if your house caught alight, despite your own lovely things!) At the time, I worked for West Yorkshire Fire Service and was lucky to have connections in the appropriate departments who knew a lot about the recent spate of fires that had occurred in similar devices.
Because of those connections I did receive very prompt and decisive action from the Whirlpool team however, I am aware that other members of the public who have had similar issues or own a faulty machine are having less than awesome experiences. Which is a shame. As a result of this incident I invested in a Beko DHR73431W which is nothing short of awesome! I cannot recommend it enough! There are no ugly pipes to plumb or hang out of the window as it’s a condenser, plus it’s really easy to clean out the filters and empty the water chamber.
Anyway, I’ve put together some top tips to help out those with machines that could be at risk and how to tell which ones are the dodgy ones.
Check Which’s website for a list of affected models. It is possible that some affected models are not listed so be super careful to check and double check. If you’re still not sure, check with Whirlpool. You can also check Hotpoint, Indesit , and Swan websites.
If you find that you do own an affected machine:
DO NOT USE IT !
UNPLUG IT IMMEDIATELY!
It’s really rubbish but get out the old pegs or clothes horse and whack the heating on! Better safe than sorry!
Contact Whirlpool– 0800 151 0905 and inform them that you have an affected machine. Do not be directed back to the retailer, as they will simply refer you back to Whirlpool; increasing the time you spend dealing with the issue.
Maintaining a Dryer
It’s important to maintain and service the goods in your home that help it to run. As one gentleman quoted during a similar discussion on BBC Radio 2’s The Jeremy Vine Show,
“you wouldn’t expect to run your car for years and years without having it serviced?”
Sign up to The Puddin’ Club for your free printable Maintenance List to keep you on top of safety for those essential helpers in your home.
Have you had an experience with a Whirlpool Tumble Dryer? Shout out on Social or drop me a comment!
Hugs for now!