The Western Gazette reports that Indesit have opened an investigation after a fire which destroyed a Yeovil home started in one of its tumble dryers.
The fire at property near Yeovil District Hospital, originated from the faulty Hotpoint appliance, despite the occupant being informed he could still use it.
Please see details further down and, this is extremely important, if you own a Hotpoint or Creda tumble dryer pay close attention to the section at the bottom about checking the model you have carefully.
Josh Cappell, 19, called the customer service number after hearing reports that a number of tumble dryers sold by Whirlpool under the Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda brand names had electrical faults which could be a fire hazard.
A spokesman for Whirlpool said: "We investigate all reported incidents thoroughly. Our customer care team has spoken with Mr Cappell to discuss his situation.
"However, until we have completed the investigation into Mr Cappell's case, we are unable to comment further."
Mr Cappell said: "Hotpoint said I could use it as long as it was supervised. This goes to show it shouldn't have been used at all."
After the fire, Josh said he wanted to warn people of the potential dangers of the devices, and urged owners to get in contact with the company to check if they were safe to use.
"I wanted to bring this to the attention of other people who might have a Hotpoint tumble dryer."
However, Whirlpool said customers could continue to use their tumble dryers while waiting for a free modification.
"The success of the programme depends on as many customers as possible registering with us for a free repair as soon as possible. We urge everyone who owns an Indesit, Hotpoint or Creda dryer manufactured between April 2004 and October 2015 to check if their dryer is affected.
"Until the modification has been made for those that require it, as an extra precaution we are asking that consumers do not leave their dryers unattended during operation. They should also regularly clean the lint filter after every cycle and ensure proper venting.
"Given the large numbers of dryers affected, we have experienced some delays in replying and we apologise for this inconvenience.
"The safety of our customers is our number one priority. We are working diligently to ensure the outreach and service campaign is carried out in a safe and timely manner."
Delays of weeks, if not months is to be expected due to the huge number of affected tumble dryers.
Another Fire While Awaiting Modification
The BBC reported in this article that another dryer has gone up whilst waiting on modification and again, the same line was taken by Whirlpool which, is understandable unit they carry out an investigation as they state:
"We investigate all reported incidents thoroughly. In this particular case, our engineer will visit the property on Thursday 4th February, to collect the machine and we will subsequently examine it in detail. However, until we have completed these investigations, you will understand we are unable to comment further."
Pressure On Whirlpool
There seems to be mounting pressure being placed on Whirlpool to take more robust action in the media and also on social media. Many seem to feel that Whirlpool has not made enough effort to reach potentially dangerous tumble dryers with ITV’s This Morning berating the company’s efforts a few days ago.
In fairness to Whirlpool, there has never been a recall on this scale before and it is not hard to imagine that their resources are under tremendous strain, which we appear to be seeing in the very lengthy waiting times for a modification to be carried out and also for normal service work currently in some areas of the country.
Check Model Details Carefully!
However some engineers and media outlets have raised concerns over the clarity on offer when owners search on Hotpoint’s site to see if their dryer is affected.
We are told (we’ve not tried it) that an issue seems to surround the result returned on a search of invalid model numbers not reporting so, only that the details do not match a model affected by the modification program.
People miskeying the model, serial numbers could therefore assume that the tumble dryer they have is okay when, in fact it is not and is subject to recall.
Even if you have checked and you didn’t think your tumble dryer was at risk we urge you strongly to recheck and ensure that the details you enter are 100% correct.
Unless your machine has a green dort as shown below then it either will be or quite likely to be affected:
Tumble Dryer Safety Advice
You can find our safety and installation advice on tumble dryers (as well as other domestic appliances throughout the website) from the following article links:
Updated 10th February 2016
Further news goes online regarding the above:
The Mirror slams long waits for appointments let alone actual modification of affected tumble dryers.
This Morning goes to America to confront Whirlpool CEO but gets nowhere.
Electrical Safety First advises owners not to use affected tumble dryers.
Updated 11th February 2016
More advice stating that the affected tumble dryers should not be used.
Which? reports stating that Whirlpool say that dryers can still be used.
Statistics show that almost one of the affected tumble dryers a day goes on fire.
Victims are set to sue over tumble dryer fires according to reports.
Updates 12th February 2016
This morning pushes more on the tumble dryer fires
The Mirror runs two articles the first one (above) is about their reporter being asked to leave Whirlpool HQ after intervention from lawyers in the UK and the second (below) about call centre staff that were told to lie that dryers were safe.
Updates 17th February 2016
The Mirror claims that it could take up to four years to reach all affected tumble dryers and carry out the modification.
Washing machines also now coming under scrutiny again.
ITV's This Morning runs another segment with Lynn Faulds-Wood on tumble dryer fires.
Update 9th March 2016
ITV's This Morning speaks to Whirlpool's UK managing director.
Update 11th March 2016
BBC highlights the long waiting times for the modification to be carried out.
Update 22nd March
Owners reported to be waiting until 2017 to have the modification carried out.