Keeping your appliances safe
65,000 owners of faulty tumble dryers have come forward since Whirlpool’s recall of faulty appliances in July. But how do you know if home appliances are safe?
Whirlpool’s recall relates to certain models of Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline dryers built between 2004 and 2015**. It followed the discovery that fluff from clothes could reach heating elements in some machines.
Last week, the government published an update from Whirlpool which showed that 65,000 faulty tumble dryers had been found – yet the full recall involved some 500,000 units. This means that many potentially hazardous machines remain in homes across the UK.
But whatever make of appliance you have, it’s important to maintain it and use it properly to make it’s safe. Here are a few tips:
Check for an approved safety mark: make sure electrical appliances have a British or European safety mark before you buy them.
Read the operating manual for any new appliance: don’t assume you know how to use your new dishwasher or washing machine.
Look for specific manufacturer guidance: for example, for tumble dryers, you should empty fluff regularly in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Register your white goods: you can do this on the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDA) website. This will allow manufacturers to quickly contact you if they identify any issues or faults.
Try to use one plug per socket: this is important for high-powered appliances, like washing machines.
Be extra vigilant at Christmas: the festive season comes with added fire risks. Again, don’t overload your extension lead with appliances.
Get help from a professional: if you’re worried about fire hazards, you can request a Home Fire Safety Visit from your local fire services.
Also, it’s a good idea to make sure you have enough insurance cover for your home appliances. Most new home appliances are protected by at least a one-year warranty, but be sure to check.
Typically, you choose to pay for an extended warranty. Alternatively, shop around for specialist home appliance insurance.
**Consumers should call 0800 151 0905 immediately if they think they might have a tumble dryer from one of these brands to see if it needs to be recalled.