London Fire Brigade

Call for ‘Death Trap’ electric goods crack down ahead of election

26 April 2017

We are warning that millions of UK households will continue to use potentially lethal faulty kitchen appliances unless MPs take action to make it easier for consumers to trace them.

It’s estimated that around *one in ten homes could be using tumble dryers, washing machines and other white goods subject to a product recall or safety notice and which are  at risk of catching alight and putting lives at risk.



We urge MPs to pledge support for a single recall database

Currently, the public rely on a variety of databases, manufacturers' websites and advertising to find out whether any of the electrical appliances they own are a potential death trap. We are urging MPs to act now and save lives by introducing a single product recall data base to make the search easier.

Our call comes ahead of a key parliamentary debate today (Wednesday 26 April) on ‘Whirlpool and the product safety system.’ We believe this is a golden opportunity for the main political parties to pledge their support for the move and make it part of their manifestos ahead of the general election.

Shepherd's Bush blaze

A devastating fire which ripped through a Shepherd’s Bush tower block last year was found by our fire investigators to be caused by a faulty Indesit tumble dryer. Parent company Whirlpool is currently undertaking a major modification programme after issuing a safety notice relating to two types of dryer under its Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Proline and Swan brands. 

However, while  more than *885,000 machines have been modified, it is believed nearly *three million Whirlpool appliances could remain in homes across the country.

This has prompted London Fire Commissioner, Dany Cotton to write  to Whirlpool this week to say we are concerned that lives could still be at risk while so many faulty machines remain in use and to ask what the company is doing to trace them. 

We believe a single, easily accessible recall register would make the urgent search for dangerous faulty appliances easier for both business and the consumer.

A responsibility to trace faulty products

Commissioner Dany Cotton said: “Companies, such as Whirlpool, have a responsibility to trace faulty products and fire and rescue services want to work with businesses to raise awareness of the issue but our country’s  lawmakers also have a key role to play. Today’s debate on product safety is a golden opportunity for MPs of all parties to pledge their commitment to creating a single, public, recall database ahead of the general election.

“We acknowledge the  effort and resources Whirlpool has put into its modification programme but the fact that more than two million dryers could remain unaccounted for highlights the inadequacy of the current product recall system.

“We believe having one central database or register would ultimately save lives, allowing consumers, landlords and second hand retailers to quickly identify faulty appliances and find safety and recall information.”

We attend nearly one fire a day involving white goods and while recent years have seen fires in the home steadily falling, fires caused by electrical products, such as tumble dryers, are decreasing at a much slower rate.

To ensure the public are better protected from potentially lethal white goods we have launched  our Total Recalls campaign to raise awareness about the dangers they can pose in the home and to help ensure the public are better protected. 

If your appliance is subject to a safety or recall notice or you think there is something wrong with it you should unplug it immediately and contact the manufacturer or a qualified repair technician.