The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has advised people using unmodified Whirlpool tumble dryers to unplug them immediately and seek free modifications to their appliances.
The affected brands are Indesit, Hotpoint, Swan, Creda and Proline. It’s estimated that there are 500,000 Whirlpool tumble dryers that are still to undergo modification. Those that have been modified can continue to be used safely in line with the instructions.
Regardless of this particular issue, which has seen some dryers go up in flames, all consumers should make sure that they read and follow the manufacturers’ instructions, which includes regularly cleaning the lint tray thoroughly.
They should always be vigilant and register their appliances so they receive updates regarding product modifications and recalls.
According to consumer watchdog Which?, however, the findings of the report – stating that the risk to people who own modified machines is low – have been decried by people whose lives have been affected by the fires.
“I find the OPSS conclusion both astounding and worrying. They say that there’s a low risk of harm or injury from fires in modified tumble dryers. But I’ve seen one of these modified dryers catch fire, severely damage our home and put the lives of my family in danger.
“If Whirlpool hadn’t assured us that the modifications their engineers completed had made the product safe for continued use, we would have removed it and bought another one,” affected homeowner Richard Smith told the watchdog.
His IDV75UK tumble dryer from Indesit was modified in 2017, but it caught fire in March this year, which resulted in serious damage to his house.
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