London Fire Brigade

Brigade renews appeal for Government to take action on dangerous white goods

17 May 2016

A fire in Harrow caused by a defective tumble dryer has prompted the Brigade to renew its campaign to make it easier for Londoners to find out whether their white goods have been recalled. 

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Beauticians in Harrow had a lucky escape when a tumble dryer in their salon on Kenton Road set on fire. Thankfully staff and customers were alerted by the shop’s fire alarm system and safely evacuated.

Cause of the tumble dryer fire

Our fire investigators have today revealed that the fire was caused when fluff came into contact with the dryer’s heating element which caused towels inside the drum to burn. The model of dryer involved is currently subject to a product recall.

Earlier this year, we released figures showing nearly one fire a day in the capital involves white goods such as dishwashers, washing machines, tumble dryers and freezers.

In 90 per cent of cases the cause was a fault in the appliance or its electrical supply, rather than human behaviour.

Not easy to find out

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "Thankfully the smoke alarm alerted people in the shop to this particular fire and everyone got out safely.

"Using a faulty electrical appliance like a tumble dryer is really dangerous but it’s not easy to find out whether a product is on the recall list. Only 10-20 per cent of them ever get returned or repaired so that means most faulty white goods continue being used, putting their owners at risk of a fire like this one.

“We are calling on the Government to introduce as single, publically accessible register of recalled products to make it easier for consumers to check out their kitchen goods.”

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Two fire engines and around 10 firefighters and officers from Harrow and Wembley fire stations were called to deal with the fire in the beauty salon on Kenton Park Parade on Friday (13 May) There were no injuries.