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Tumble Dryer Safety Pressure

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Remember the tumble dryer fire in Shepherd’s Bush the other week? Well, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) are now putting pressure on Whirlpool to recall all the dryers and saying they should not be used.

It seems that, on investigation that the tumble dryer is indeed the culprit according to the LFB.

The LFB has renewed it’s call for a full recall to happen, on potentially five million tumble dryers still in circulation.

Dave Brown from the LFB said, “This fire has highlighted just how dangerous faulty white goods can be.

“Disappointingly though, Whirlpool have still not changed their advice to consumers. Following the conclusion of our investigation we are now appealing once again for them to change their advice and bring it into line with our own.

“Thankfully there were no serious injuries in the Shepherd’s Bush fire but we may not be so lucky if it happens again.

“It was vital that we conducted such a robust and systematic investigation to get a clear picture of what happened. Following an exhaustive examination of the scene and the remains of the appliance by our specialist fire investigators we remain satisfied the cause was the faulty dryer.”

Now government has stepped in as well and consumer minister (we didn’t even know there was one!) Margot James said that, “Customer safety must be the number one priority for manufacturers. I acknowledge that Whirlpool are making great efforts to modify and replace at-risk machines, but I believe additional action is required to reassure customers and the public. I will be writing to the company to set out my concerns and expectations.”

She added that government could be looking to create a working group to look again at recalls and safety, as she put it, “to look at what more can be done to improve the safety of white goods, including tumble dryers”.

And there’s kinda a problem there as readers of this website will know all too well.

Appliances are cheap and have been getting steadily cheaper in real terms so, building in quality and more safety ain’t gonna happen unless the prices bounce up. We say that as, if you add more safety and better build quality to the appliances then it’s pretty obvious that has a cost and, that cost will just get added onto the ticket price.

As repairers and spare parts sellers that’s no bad thing for us obviously but whether people will swallow having to possibly pay considerably more for appliances in future remains to be seen. If they can even make it happen.

But so long as appliance makers are being forced to race to the bottom on pricing, expect this sort of thing as well as all the other disasters and safety issues we’ve seen rising the past few years to continue to rise.

Our opinion being that, whilst the focus is on being cheaper, focus is lost from staying safe.

Margot James reckons that safety should be, "the number one priority" for manufacturers.”

Really? Or is it sales volumes?

Whilst we deride the manufacturers often, usually at every opportunity, for the stuff they do wrong there’s blame to go around here as consumers seek out ever cheaper and cheaper products. Often some of the junk we see we think it miraculous there’s not more safety issues than we’ve seen already.

We are not saying that manufacturers are sacrificing safety or putting profit ahead of it, they will all act within the legal framework that we have. If it is to be improved then that legal framework must alter, otherwise someone will make one cheaper that may not be as safe and, people will buy them.

But, in an industry seemingly obsessed with making things as cheap as it possibly can and a willing public prepared to buy the cheapest they can possibly get often oblivious to any risk or responsibility, is it really any wonder that we then have safety problems?

(Related article; How Much Should A Tumble Dryer Cost)

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