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UK Whitegoods is probably the largest and best domestic appliance resource in the world and we share a wealth of information to help you choose what to buy or avoid and that will get you help with most appliance problems using articles, tutorials and more that show you how to repair most common problems yourself and, if you get stuck or need more help just use our forum where you can get fault finding help from appliance repair experts completely free.

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Domestic Appliance News

Fire Safe Appliance Labels
Fire Safe Appliance Labels
Whirlpool Profits Slump
Whirlpool Profits Slump
Colour Changing Fridges
Colour Changing Fridges
Fire Safe Appliance Labels

Consumer group Which has said today that they want to see fireproof labels on appliances as identifying them has become harder or at least, that's the upshot.

We've got a problem with some of this as long-standing readers might imagine.

First off, who are trying to identify the burnt out husks?

Second, what caused it as most often, the actual cause is unknown or not proven. Often as not there's not even a substantial investigation into the cause, a topic we've covered several times on here in relation to fires. It's usually a case of "The __WHATEVER__ went on fire"... case closed.

But the third one is a bit of a thing with the massive rise of own label brands and manufacturer rebranded products as so many of them are fundamentally the same products once you remove the shiny aesthetic bits.

It's not uncommon for one washing machine for example or the core to it, to be sold under ten different brands or more and the only place you'd be able to see who sold the rebadged product is on the facia, that will be toast or the rating plate that, will also be toast.

Pointing the finger at the party responsible therefore just isn't possible and, even the company that made the thing probably couldn't tell you without that information.

But as these low cost rebranded products gain more and more traction, identifying where they came from and what they are or who's responsible for them when the data is not there is often impossible and, as there's more and more of this sort of product out there then this is merely a natural result of that.

So whilst we can see why this is we sorta have to say that it's really a result, certainly in large part, to market forces and, market forces are consumer driven.

What Which? Wants

Fireproof labels basically. Or fire-retardant, we don't think you can get fully fireproofed ones.

That's great, the appliance burns, they can see what it was and then hopefully you can sue or pursue the maker or brand for compensation.

We can't see brands falling over themselves to help with that. Not even a little bit.

Aside from anything else a "we fit fireproof labels" says to the buyer, "our stuff can go on fire"... not the message makers or brands want to put out there.

And smaller brands just are not going to put money into it but then, mind, probably the large ones won't either.

If there's no legislation then, it ain't happening.

And that's absolutely fine if it happens, so long as there's also legislation that means makers or brands can sue for costs on false claims as well as, we've all seen false claims in the trade. Essentially attempts to extort money from the "big company" or their insurers.

Increasing Fire Instances

In its article Which basically alludes that the number of fires involving appliances is increasing and, numerically that may well be the case.

What it does not do is state how many are in the field, in operation when these figures are published as nobody really knows.

This is very important as it really only tells half the story.

If you think about it a little, from what Which? says based on "reported" instances caused by an appliance (NOTE: not proven to be a manufacturing fault) the number of instances has increased. But, relative to what?

If there are another one or two million products in service then it's logical to assume that the instances, even if statistically flat, would remain at the same percentage of overall products in use, they may have even dropped but, we do not have that information so to us, this is a bit speculative at best, downright flaky at worst.

We're not saying there's no need for vigilance at all, merely that these sort of hysterical claims need to be tempered with a bit of common sense.

And we see that with all possible kindness but on the understanding that these numbers do not take account of misuse, misinstallation and more factors which, as often as not, are the actual cause of supposed appliance fires.

In short, we don't think these numbers are truly representative of the actual danger being alluded to and we do not think that there is the proof or evidence here to say definitively that there is given those incomplete numbers.

Whirlpool Profits Slump

We sorta saw this one coming as tariffs on steel were announced by a certain US president but Whirlpool's problems seem a perfect storm of bad fortunes, literally.

So here's the potted version of what's going on, Whirlpool suffered a massive $657 million loss in the second quarter, due in part to a $747 million charge and it needing to pay $114 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit in France.

Whilst at the same time suffering poorer than expected performance in Europe due to challenging currency impacts. Which may well have to do with the general chaos here with Brexit etc.

Whirlpool also said on Monday that its raw material costs are rising due to tariffs and that the company expects to be hit with an additional $350 million in raw material costs this year compared to last year. Ouch!

All this has forced Whirlpool to slash its profit guidance by 3% to earnings per share of between $14.20 and $14.80. Whirlpool said that by the end of the year, it expects lower-than-expected revenue growth and for global inflation to rise more significantly than it had anticipated.

Whirlpool still thinks that Europe will continue to be a challenge and we don't see any end of that in sight until things settle down politically across the continent, Brexit only being one factor.

“We remain committed to our long-term value creation strategy, and will continue to fully invest in our business as we execute our balanced approach to capital allocation,” the company’s chief financial officer Jim Peters said in a statement.

Colour Changing Fridges

Bosch has launched a new Vario Style refrigerator and a fridge-freezer with simple interchangeable, coloured door fronts which is the first of it's kind to be put on the domestic appliance market.

Initially introduced in 2017, Vario Style has been highly popular with consumers and won several design awards. Now the collection presents five new shades that capture contemporary home trends. Alongside the existing nineteen colours, owners will now have a larger variety to choose from.

"We develop our colours against the backdrop of modern living and lifestyle trends," said Robert Sachon, chief designer at Bosch. "And there are currently cosy, warm environments dominate with subtle hues and interesting, iridescent surfaces." The new Vario Style colours fit perfectly: They are characterised by a velvety pearl effect, radiate elegance and style. "Our new colours now offer households even more opportunities to develop their personality in their own living environment".

With Vario Style and its nineteen attractive colours, Bosch has gained a lot of attention since its launch in 2017. Thanks to a mounting system with concealed mounts and magnets, the door fronts can be made of high-quality, durable materials and can be exchanged easily without tools.

To change the panels you simply pull the front slightly to yourself, lift, remove, hook in the new door and in seconds, the fridge makes a new colour statement.

Oh and a set of panels will run you £149!