/ Home & Energy

Update: will the government take action on Whirlpool?

fire risk dryer

In January, we launched our campaign to challenge Whirlpool over its fire-risk dryers. And the response has been overwhelming with a parliamentary petition calling for a recall of Whirlpool dryers hitting 100,000 signatures. So what now?

We’ve been talking about this safety issue for months now, monitoring its progress and listening to your experiences. Here on Which? Conversation many of you have shared your concerns – some of you being affected owners and others discussing the wider safety issues.

And it’s clear that nearly all of you share our concerns and that this has dragged on for far too long.

Getting action from government

Whirlpool has been aware of the problem for at least 15 months now. Yet many customers with affected Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline, Swan and Creda branded tumble dryers are still waiting for their machine to be repaired.

We think it’s time to push this up the government’s agenda. The government isn’t doing enough to tackle the problems with the product safety system, with Whirlpool’s handling of its fire-risk dryers being just one example of this.

We need the government to take this issue more seriously, and to do that we want MPs to be given the opportunity to press the government in Parliament.

To make this happen we’re backing the parliamentary petition calling on the government to take action on Whirlpool – but we need your help.

If we can get this petition to 100,000 signatures before May 2017, it will be considered for a debate in Parliament. But we need you, your friends, your family and your colleagues to help get this debate secured and push this safety issue higher up the government’s agenda.

Time is running out

The fact is that fire-risk dryers are still in people’s homes, and the modification programme isn’t delivering solutions fast enough.

Last month, we spoke to Sharna, whose mum owned an affected Indesit dryer. For Sharna and her family the opportunity for a repair came too late. In October 2016, a London Fire Brigade investigation found that a fire at a Shepherds Bush tower block, where Sharna lived, was caused by a faulty Indesit dryer.

That dryer was awaiting inspection as part of Whirlpool’s modification programme. Their home and their belongings were destroyed and they are still unable to return home today.

It’s high-time the government steps up for safety’s sake.

Update: 28 February 2017

The government has posted its response to the petition calling for a recall of Whirlpool-branded fire-risk dryers.

This response has been expected since the petition passed the minimum threshold of 10,000 signatures, which was a little over two weeks ago. If we can get this petition to 100,000 signatures by 1 May 2017, then it must be considered for a debate in Parliament – at the time of publishing the petition stands at 57,374.

The government has stated that when it comes to product safety it thinks consumers should ‘reasonably expect clear advice on how to safely use products in their home, and prompt and effective action should be taken if a safety issue is identified’.

The government notes that despite the 1.5 million affected registered dryers there are still many unregistered and unmodified dangerous dryers in the UK.

The response also highlights that Margot James, the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, has called on Whirlpool to progress with its repair programme and improve communications with consumers. The Minister has expressed concerns about reaching consumers with affected machines who’ve not yet registered for a repair or replacement.

But, we believe it’s time a full recall was issued.

If you own a Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline, Swan or Creda tumble dryer which you purchased before October 2015 then your dryer could be affected by this safety warning.

Last week we reported that the safety advice for affected dryers has now been revised. Those with affected dryers need to unplug the dryer and stop using the machine until it has been modified.

Check to see if your dryer is affected and find out what your rights are here.

Update: 24 April 2017

The parliamentary petition calling for a full recall of all Whirlpool UK fire-risk dryers reached 100,000 signatures. Before the General Election was called, the petition had to pass this required threshold by 30th April to be considered for a debate in Parliament.

Alex Neill, our Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said:

‘This huge level of public support is a powerful indication that Whirlpool needs to be held to account for its completely inadequate handling of the tumble dryer safety issue.

‘There are still millions of potentially life threatening machines in people’s homes. The next government must act swiftly to force a full product recall of all affected machines to prevent further risk to the safety of consumers and their homes.’

As a General Election has been called and Parliament will dissolve next week, we’ll be picking up with MPs following the election on pressing for this petition to be considered for a debate.

The support for both the parliamentary petition and our own campaign to force action on fire-risk dryers sends a clear message that Whirlpool needs to act in the best interest of consumers and fully recall these potentially dangerous dryers.

Sadly, the battle doesn’t end here – we’ll be continuing to call for a full product recall of these dangerous dryers.

Update: 6 September 2017

A Hotpoint dryer has been blamed as the likely case of flat fire. Denbighshire coroner’s court has concluded that a Hotpoint tumble dryer was the most likely cause of a flat fire which sadly killed two men in Llanrwst in October 2014.

A survivor of the flat fire, Gary Lloyd Jones, told the hearing that on the night of the fire he saw flames coming from the tumble dryer.

The Assistant Coroner found that the fire was likely caused by an electrical fault inside the door of the dryer. The Assistant Coroner, David Lewis, also expressed concerns about the evidence gathered by Whirlpool, the owners of the Hotpoint brand, and dismissed one potential cause proposed by a Whirlpool expert as ‘fanciful’ and ‘unlikely’.

Though we do not yet know the model number of the Hotpoint tumble dryer, we do know that it is one of the dryers affected by the safety notice issued earlier this year following our application for judicial review.

Our Managing Director of Home Products and Services, Alex Neill, said:

‘In the face of the tragic deaths of these two men, Whirlpool can no longer continue to ignore its responsibility for the safety of its customers and must now conduct a full product recall of the potentially lethal tumble dryers in people’s homes across the country.

‘This tragic case shows once again that the product safety system is broken and is potentially putting lives at risk. The government must create a national body that can get unsafe products out of people’s homes.’

We are writing to the coroner to request that he produces a ‘Preventing Future Deaths’ report. This kind of report is produced following an inquest when there is a risk of future deaths happening in a similar way.

We will also be contacting the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to call for a full-product recall of the Hotpoint dryer at the centre of this tragedy.

The government has been too slow to respond to serious incidents – and subsequent reviews – following product-related fires. We want to see urgent changes to the UK’s product safety regime, including the creation of a new national body designed to take control of dangerous situations as they arise and get products out of people’s homes quickly.

Update: 15 September 2017

Disappointingly, Parliament’s Petitions Committee has decided not to debate the petition calling on the government to urge Whirlpool UK to recall all faulty tumble dryers.

Thousands of our campaign supporters signed Andy Slaughter MP’s e-petition in order to force the government to review these dangerous fire-risk dryers. Thank you to those of you who added your name to this petition.

The decision not to go ahead with the debate came despite this e-petition gaining over 100,000 signatures from members of the public.

When deciding which petitions should be debated, the Committee looks at whether the subject has recently been debated in Parliament. In September 2016 there was a debate on faulty fire-risk tumble dryers, the Committee considers this debate to have been sufficient.

We’re disappointed, but this isn’t where our efforts for action on faulty fire-risk dryers will end.

We’re going to continue pressing the government to urgently fix the UK’s broken product safety system, which currently poses grave risks to consumers. We’re calling on the government to take urgent action to put consumers first and to create a new national body to lead on product safety, as well as a genuine ‘one-stop-shop’ to provide authoritative information and advice when dangerous products are identified or recalls are required.

Update: 30 November 2017

Following the inquest into the fire which killed two men in Llanrwst, coroner David Lewis has published a prevention of future deaths report.

In the report, the coroner has raised concerns witnesses called by lawyers for Whirlpool during the hearing had been ‘defensive and dismissive’.

Commenting on the evidence given, Mr Lewis explained:

‘The door switch assembly of interest in this case is used in literally hundreds of thousands of appliances manufactured by Whirlpool.

He added:

‘I did not emerge from the hearing confident that Whirlpool’s risk assessment processes have fully identified or appreciated the extent of the risk of fire (and its potential consequences).’

Whirlpool now has 56 days to respond to the report. In its response, it must explain details of action taken or proposed to action to take, or explain why it will take no action at all.

Our managing director of home products and services, Alex Neill, said:

‘The Coroner’s report exposes the fundamental failings of Whirlpool’s handling of unsafe products. The Government should urgently investigate if this is a breach of the company’s obligations under product safety law and immediately enforce a full product recall of all remaining fire risk tumble dryers in people’s home.

‘This case is further evidence that the UK’s product safety regime is simply not fit-for-purpose and must be reformed, with the creation of a new national body to lead on issues of this nature.’

Do you expect the government to take action on this safety issue?

Comments
Sherry Kerr says:
16 September 2017

Don’t buy Whirlpool products, so they have to listen, and do something about these very dangerous products!

The fact that both whirlpool and now the ‘nasty party’ government have ignored the petition and are not prepared to debate it is despicable!!!

The lives of millions of people are being put at risk by this company and the government couldn’t care less.

It will be interesting in the coming months, if as I suspect, the fire and resultant tragic loss of life of more than one hundred people in Grenfell Tower was caused by a defective whirlpool appliance.

Government do something? Not unless one MP’s personal life is affected by one of these fires and they lose property, or even worse a loved one. Too much behind the scenes of big business pulling strings & threats to withdraw party funding. Do we have to wait for another tower block disaster before our beloved leaders take action?

A recent post-mortem on my now dead-as-a-parrot Blu-Ray Player / PVR showed that it had developed an internal short circuit and melted/smouldered inside.

It might even have caused a house fire – except that, being only used as a Blu-Ray Player, it was never routinely left switched on and was never used unsupervised.

I mention this to re-iterate the point than any electrical appliance can develop a fault and become an ignition source.

As a householder, I recognise that fire safety in my home is my responsibility. Hence it is my job to ensure that appliances are used safely and that unsafe appliances are identified and then either repaired or scrapped. As I might fail to get that 100% right, I have smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and a fire escape plan.

All that having been said, I expect appliance manufacturers to take all reasonably practicable steps to not supply unsafe appliances to me, and/or to take reasonable steps to remedy any problems caused by design or manufacturing faults, if any are revealed after I have bought appliances from them.

Given than Whirlpool have called in a design fault on a lot of their Indesit family dryers, I think the legal issues here revolve around whether or not their response to this crisis has been reasonably effective or not.

According to the reports from Which and others, it seems that Whirlpool have been failing to quickly remedy this problem, thereby causing inconvenience and risk to owners, especially those who cannot get by without a dryer. Hence – under existing laws – there may be some legal basis for prosecuting or suing Whirlpool.

Perhaps Which? could bring a something like class-action against Whirlpool, to recompense affected users (or at least those that are Which? subscribers).

Via HSE, or consumer protection, the Government may also have enforcement powers from various Acts – but it seem to have no willingness to even consider using any of them. I don’t think that’s good, because what is the point of having all this legislation if we cannot use it?

All that having been said, if Whirlpool were to immediately replace every affected dryer with one of an amended design to modern standards, all such devices will still present some kind of fire risk in every home – albeit a lower one than the risk given the by affected dryers.

Derek is right that any electrical appliance can develop a fault. Whether this may lead to a house fire depends very much on what safety devices are included and whether the case can contain a fire.

Which? has fought and won some major battles in the past and I would like to see Which? taking action that will lead to safer appliances.

DerekP – I totally agree that we are responsible for our possessions and their safety – providing they are safe in the first place. A great many international standards cover safety of products, and anyone marketing such products in the EU must comply with these otherwise they are acting illegally. Cheats can always find a way through, and that is why we need the market properly policing – a job Trading Standards used to do, but sadly are so underfunded much of their proactive role seems to have gone by the board.

It is far too late for Which? to consider a class action – this should have been done 2 years ago. But we should also have been acquainted with our legal rights under the Sale of Goods Act – one saying that a product that is unsafe must be replaced, repaired or refunded without unreasonable inconvenience to the consumer. Our individual claim in law is against the retailer who sold us the faulty appliance. What happened to that?

One problem seems to be that Peterborough Trading Standards were the authority responsible for dealing with this, and chose to agree an action plan with Whirlpool that was shown to be hopeless.

If the regulator lacks the power to act in a responsible and effective manner and the current law continues to absolve the manufacturer from all liability for churning out cheap and potentially fire hazardous products, then the ultimate solution must surely lie with the consumer who is free to boycott all machines made by Whirlpool and its associate companies. Which?s role can only alert all consumers of all the brands owned by Whirlpool through every legitimate medium available to them.

I could never understand the mentality of some who put their own interests before that of others by continuing to buy vehicles manufactured by a company who massed produced vehicles that had been sytematically and secretly modified in order to dupe consumers into believing they were driving an environmently friendly vehicle.

If the government has decided not to debate this issue any further at present, then it’s up to the British consumer to exercise the power afforded to them by putting their money where their mouth is into a product that contains an automatic fail safe and cut off system to prevent it from becoming a potentially dangerous and fatal fire hazard. Which? Best Buys could assist by including more information about a machines component parts as well as its efficacy and value for money.

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Which? has put most Hotpoint and Indesit tumble dryers in the ‘Don’t Buy’ category, giving the following reason:
Safety notice Older models of this dryer (pre-October 2015) are subject to a fire risk safety alert issued by the manufacturer but we also have wider concerns about how this group of companies has handled this safety issue.” There is also a link to the stance of Which? on product safety alerts and recalls.

This is commendable but the information can, as far as I know, only be seen by subscribers. If Which? broadcast its concerns about Whirlpool on national TV the public might be informed about how this company has procrastinated over the modification/replacement of potentially dangerous tumble dryers.

Thanks for that Duncan. One if the salient themes to come out of these most recent posts is the “business advised government”. British consumers are beginning to wake up at last to the fact that when lives are being lost due to faulty equipment without effective protection from our own ‘powers that be’ it’s time to develop a collective mentality and act by boycotting all Whirlpool products, as you rightly say is the only effective measure that would send a firm message to big business that the British people are no longer prepared to become the victims of their unfair practices.

Well that’s certainly a step in the right direction Wavechange and I agree Which? could go one step further by bringing this problem more into the public domain. There maybe a few legal issues to overcome of course and its way past my bedtime!

We have debated boycotts before. it is something each individual can do. However, just like switching energy suppliers, it appears many – most – are not motivated to act.

Which?’s part in this seems to have been limited to a court injunction requiring Whirlpool to publicly tell consumers not to use their unsafe machine. A year or more after this all started. I would have hoped Which? would have been far stronger from the outset. “Which? exists to make you as powerful as the organisations you deal with in your daily life. Did it really achieve this for the millions of Indesit owners who have waited months and years for remedies? Did it explain the law for consumers so they could make a claim against their retailer. What influence did it exert over Trading Standards to put in place a proper repair or replace scheme, instead of the lamentable shambles that they (PTS) presided over?

Which? has a public face through its press office, so when it chooses to it can inform more than just its members.

I would like to see a more powerful Which? to better achieve its stated mission, providing it is based on sound information. We consumers need such a representative and the Consumers Association seems the only one available.

Manufacturers are responsible for the safety of products, so claims against retailers should not be necessary: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/product-safety-for-manufacturers Reference to Indesit does not help because Whirlpool is now responsible for the affected dryers sold under several other brand names.

The consumer’s contract is with the retailer, not the manufacturer. The retailer has a legal obligation to honour their contract with their customer – see Sale of goods Act and Consumer Rights Act. If you buy a product that is faulty you must approach the retailer for appropriate redress. You have no contract with the manufacturer.

In the case of Whirlpool they appear to have taken on the retailers’ job in principle by dealing directly with consumers. However, I do not believe that they are able to remove an individual’s legal rights in this way. It might have seemed a convenience for consumers at the time but it rapidly became clear it was a shambles. It hasn’t worked in many consumers favour and yet it is still allowed to continue. There seems little defence.

Many people know this as an Indesit problem who, from memory, manufactured the machines under different brand names. Am I incorrect? But that’s a trivial issue.

I’m well aware that the consumer’s contract is with the retailer but it is generally the manufacturer that makes arrangements in event of a problem affecting many owners. Often retailers are not involved. In some cases the retailer may not still be trading. This is relevant here since some of the affected dryers were sold under the Proline brand by Comet.

I think you will find that more people associate the dryer problem with Whirlpool than Indesit.

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Malcolm, plastics are made from oil. Oil is a carbon-rich raw material and plastics are large carbon- containing compounds which are highly combustible. It was the highly combustible plastic material that caused the fire to spread so rapidly at Grenfell with devastating consequences.

You don’t need a PhD in chemistry or engineering to realise that any electrical heat producing machine such as a tumble dryer containing highly combustible compounds, when ignited, is almost certainly going to spread fire beyond its own casing.

It is really irrelevant to this Convo whether we quibble about Indesit. We should be making positive proposals about how to help those who still have problems with their dryers, and thinking about how to deal with such problems in the future. Many practical suggestions have been made and it would be useful if these were pulled together and put to government.

The legal rights of consumers are dealt with in the Customer Rights Act and the Sale of Goods Act and these state that the contract is with the retailer. It may well be that he manufacturer decides to take that responsibility from them in the case of a mass failure, but that does not change the fact. Passing Indesit et al. problems on to the manufacturer, Whirlpool, has not worked well, has it? I doubt many affected Indesit et al. owners would agree that Whirlpool have successfully made “arrangements in (the) event of a problem affecting many owners”.

We need retailers made to display consumer rights clearly, and to be trained to ensure customers are dealt with in accordance with their rights when they have a problem. If you have a problem with a product you’ve bought from Curry’s (for example 🙂 ) that was made in China, we do not want to have to contact the manufacturer; we want to take it back to the shop and have them deal with it. That is why the law, presumably, is framed the way it is. I’d like to see Which? making the use of consumer rights a key part of their work.

Beryl, additives are used in plastics to greatly increase their resistance to heat and burning. One of the tests (and thereare others) involves the use of a butane flame to check whether a material will self-extinguish if the flame starts to ignite the material. Another involves a glow-wire. These regulations are not developed by ignorant people.

Many of us may think we know better than the experts, and that is something that keeps our brains working; sometimes that can lead to a step forward. But only if those who can make changes are informed of our bright ideas. These are the people qualified, experienced and knowledgeable enough to assess the merits.

As I have posted before, these “experts” not only include people who work in the industries concerned, but also consultants in the various disciplines, those involved in fire sciences and prevention and consumer groups, for example. You can find a list of the members of the BSI committee CPL/61, for example, on their website..

It’s grand theory, Malcolm, but how do you account for the burned and melted plastics shown in the photos I have posted in this and other Conversations?

If you take some samples of plastic from the cases of your appliances I expect that you will find that they burn merrily and do not-self-extinguish. Of course that is not under standard conditions but neither are accidental fires.

Malcolm, what are these additives that evidently failed to stop the fire that spread in the combustible plastic material that cost the lives of 80 + people at Grenfell Tower and that are frequently failing to control the spread of fire from combustible plastic components in tumble dryers and why were these “consultants and experts” not aware of the potential danger to the lives of so many innocent people?

It’s imperative the truth is established so that such catastrophic events are not repeated, but I predict this will
be difficult to determine whilst people continue to search for reasons to exonerate both themselves and others from all obligation and responsibilty.

They seem to be the same pictures that appear. As you have access to standards, you can check on the tests required for non-metallic materials. You can shave a small sliver of plastic and set light to it – your test if I remember but not the way plastics are used. I can make steel burn quite easily by taking very thin samples, but would not condemn steel on that basis. That is why we have properly-constructed tests done under repeatable conditions – a scientific method, not a random one.

I don’t know what evidence you have that the conditions in “accidental fires” are not represented by “standard conditions”. The purpose of standards is to look at the abnormal conditions that could arise and ensure, as far as possible, that the product remains safe. The fact that there are so few fires – 0.005% in dryers I believe – seems to me to justify the use of safety standards. Without them I suspect the floodgates would have opened to outright dangerous products. And, of course, fires are not only caused by an inherent fault in a particular machine, but by neglect, lack of routine maintenance (read the instructions), misuse and abuse.

However, this continual criticism, that may or may not be properly informed, really misses the point. We should be working positively to improve safety, working with those who have the knowledge required and who can effect change. We can work with Which? to do that, if Which? chooses to go down that route. Shall we press for positive ways forward?

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Beryl, I do not see how we can sensibly discuss Grenfell Tower on this basis. The public inquiry should reveal the salient facts, such as whether the cladding met the applicable standards (or not), whether it was installed correctly, whether other features of the building contributed. If the materials standards and/or the building regulations prove defective then they will be revised.

As Kenneth pointed out earlier, your kitchen and rest of the house will be full of potentially flammable materials, from plastics to timber, fabrics to furniture, with plenty of ignition sources from gas cookers, cigarettes, candles, fat fryer, electrical wiring (when was it last checked?), badly-wired appliances, badly sited heaters, rubbish transformers feeding low-voltage lights sat in your ceiling void……….

I suggest that apart from ensuring products meet safety standards, a sensible precaution would be to install spray/sprinkler systems to deal with a fire, however caused, particularly if you live in a multi-occupant building.

duncan, that simply supports my comment that the retailer is held responsible. The manufacturer does not need to have any involvement with the ultimate consumer.

Malcolm, it has already been established from the many posts on this subject that because the human condition dictates that CONTAINABLE (apologies for shouting!) fires will inevitably occur at sometime in most people’s lives, irrespective of how careful one is when using electric or gas fuelled appliances.

The questions here being, what can be done to persuade manufacturers to produce fail-safe machines with cut-out components to prevent uncontainable fires occurring in the first place and, in the event of a fire occurring what can be done to stop manufacturers from using highly combustible material such as plastics from spreading fire if or when ignited?

Positive suggestions only please 🙂

Beryl, I continue to make “positive proposals” in these Convos. I am disappointed that you should suggest otherwise. I have quoted from standards in the past to at least give information where it was lacking. I have spoken to BSI and international organisations and reported back. I think that is a constructive and a positive approach to Convos. I sometimes wonder whether I’d be better off simply joining the moaners and not attempting to do any work to try to put information in front of people.

International standards “persuade” manufacturers to meet safety requirements; not to comply is illegal. Work is in hand looking at whether, and what, improvements are needed. Manufacturers do not use “highly combustible” materials where they might be exposed to fire inside the machine. If you have access to the safety standard BSEN 60335-1 you will see this spelled out. These materials are not “highly combustible”.

I am totally in favour of making appliances, and other products, as safe as is practicable. But let’s not frighten people with inaccurate statements. It might be useful if Which? asked BSI to make a statement on what is being said – or even Which? themselves. They have tested appliances.

I really would like these sorts of semi-technical Convos to be provided with the facts from those who best know so that comments can be judged appropriately.

Malcolm – I have tried to select different photos of fire-damaged appliances and I doubt you will find much duplication.

In posting photos and criticism I hope that Which? will pursue the problem of appliance fires and the use of (in my view) inappropriate materials in their construction. I am happy to offer my support.

If you feel that my concerns about plastic in the casings of appliances are unfounded, then please study the photos I have posted. I agree that steel in the form of steel wool will burn but I doubt you will see much evidence of steel having been destroyed in any of the photos I have posted. Whether the plastics could be classified as ‘highly combustible’ or not, the evidence is that they have burned or melted. If you don’t want to read my criticism, feel free to ignore it.

wavechange, rather than disputing amongst ourselves, would it not be better to work to find ways forward that might be effective and constructive. Is Which? the right organisation to do this with our help? We want sensible and agreed change; why not work positively towards that end?

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This is why clouds were created – nature’s sprinkler system. Let’s consider sprinklers in kitchens to deal with fires from cooking, gas flames, and all those sources of fire that far exceed the ones from domestic appliances – whether individually faulty or whether neglected and misused. If you want steel cupboards, steel shutters, steel furniture, or if you don’t want to buy what you consider to be dangerous products, then you have those choices. I don’t think that necessary in my case.

No one has said that something is “impossible”. Some have pointed out that nothing is perfect, but we should seek pragmatic (sensible and practical) ways to improve safety and mitigate the effects of a problem. That is the ultimate job, in this case, of safety standards. I have suggested elsewhere that we should work towards possible solutions, rather than simply looking on the negative side.

Do you think Which? is the right organisation to help with this, with the assistance of its members?

Malcolm, if manufacturers do not use highly combustible materials where they might be exposed to fire inside their machines, I repeat, and if these non-combustible materials you claim they use are unsuccessful in preventing the spread of flames both inside and outside of the casing of a machine (Wavechange has provided an abundance of photographic evidence of charred and burnt-out plastic components ) then likewise, some reciprocal evidence in relation to additives in plastic combustible materials to prevent the spread of flames occurring would be appreciated, without which a sensible debate is not possible if the truth is to be established.

Once more with feeling… I very much doubt that the adoption of all metal construction is:

A – Safe

B – Cost effective

C – Any better safety wise in practical terms

D – Practical

And again, you need to change the law as the Swedes and others told me that they *HAD* to use plastic on facia panels to conform to EU safety legislation.

And again, I have seen zero evidence that would address any of the points above, not a scrap.

All I’ve seen it rhetoric and opinion. Much from people unfamiliar with the industry.

K.

Beryl, the fact is that the most combustable thing in a dryer (or any other appliances most often) is what people put in them and, there’s more of it than there is in the products. Not the machines or what they’re made from.

Sorry, but that’s the truth of it.

K.

I’ve not read this through, but here’s a link – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flame_retardant

It’s worth reading the section on toxicity. Are there any requirements to use fire retardant plastics in the cases of appliances and if so, which ones are approved?

Thinking about sprinklers, I’m pretty sure sprinklers on a chip pan fat fire could do more harm than good.

I believe there are mist sprinklers- someone mentioned this in an earlier comment. Even if the burning fat is splashed, I imagine the continuous dowsing with water from sprinklers will deal with any potential spread of the fire. Sprinklers are compulsory in some housing so presumably are, on balance, recognised as a good safety measure.

The plastics used must pass the fire tests specified in the standards. There are many types and grades of plastics so I presume by “approved” we mean those that pass the requirements.

To be fair, cooking chips regularly in fat will probably be more dangerous to your health than a simple fire in the long term. 🙂

Malcolm – If the plastics used in appliance casings are compliant with standards, what is the explanation for the fact that in the photos I have posted, plastics have burned and/or melted?

It seems to me that either the plastics were non-compliant or the standards used to test them were inadequate, possibly both. It would be helpful to know which applies.

Perhaps you could ask this question of BSI, wavechange?

Kenneth I understand your need to protect the reputation of the business you run, but what I do find puzzling is how an empty tumble dryer can catch fire when not switched on and the plastic components therein are melted and burned. Are you attempting to deny the evidence contained in the photographs? Beko recently admitted that a fire was caused by a defective printed control board in a DSC 85 dryer.

Wavechange, it appears there are still a host of unanswered questions and especially in light of Malcolm’s disturbing link which highlights the levels of toxicity in flame retardant materials.

Why do you suggest that flame retardant materials are all toxic ? “A large group of the studied flame retardants were found to have a good environmental and health profile: “.

“what I do find puzzling is how an empty tumble dryer can catch fire when not switched on and the plastic components therein are melted and burned.”

It can’t.

Draw your own conclusions.

“Are you attempting to deny the evidence contained in the photographs?

No.

But they only demonstrate the result, not the cause. They do not in any way address the actual reason for the problem.

K.

Malcolm I didn’t suggest that all flame retardant materials were toxic. I read enough to alert myself to the cause and effect of FRMs on the thyroid gland a health problem that I happen to have inherited, but that is another topic for another day.

I’m sorry you have a thyroid problem, Beryl.

An “empty” dryer may not be so if it has accumulated fluff due to poor upkeep.
13 times as many fires were caused by cooking appliances c/w tumble dryers. What would be interesting (to me) is how many fires are caused by neglect, misuse, abuse compared with a fault that developed in the appliance.

Beryl – Burning plastics tend to produce toxic fumes and flame retardants can add to the problem. I’ve tried to find an article that is not too technical: https://www.nist.gov/sites/default/files/documents/el/fire_research/4-Purser.pdf

I followed up Malcolm’s quotation about flame retardants with a good environmental and health profile and found no indication that these are used in appliance casings, though there is reference to their application for printed circuit boards.

Kenneth – One reason why an unused tumble dryer can catch fire is because of failure of the mains switch on the appliance.

Malcolm – I have found nothing to indicate that tests are carried out on used driers, which may have accumulated lint even if the filter has been cleaned routinely. It would be very interesting to dismantle a variety of used dryers and find out how much lint they contain.

Manufacturers conduct there own tests for products in use for safety and development purposes. Use, wear and tear, is often simulated – I have seen a standard test rig designed to test mattresses for example. I believe that is part of the international test to demonstrate compliance. Accelerated ageing is used to simulate deterioration through life; we used it on sealing materials, for example.

Perhaps a repeatable test could be devised for tumble dryers, using suitable fabrics, dampened to a specified degree and repeatedly dried, or by putting “standardised” fluff into the drum to see where it accumulated, with and without owner maintenance.

I have repeatedly asked Which? to examine and test- or to have it done – a sample of an unsafe Indesit (et al.) dryer to see a) whether it passed the standard (BSEN 60335-2-11) and to see what the actual fault and its proposed remedy was, and how effective. You would think someone, including Trading Standards, would have done this obvious check. Nothing has been published, however, as far as I know. Not doing such fundamental work simply leads to unsupported conjecture – which may or may not prove true.

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“Kenneth – One reason why an unused tumble dryer can catch fire is because of failure of the mains switch on the appliance.”

Can I just point out that I have personally repaired and seen more dryers with faults that you will ever see so please take account of that when I tell you….

Not if they are connected to a proper and as instructed fused supply that is properly grounded and, where connected to an RCD protected circuit this should be impossible unless there is an issue with said mains supply.

Arcing to that degree should blow the fuse on the plug.

Additionally there is a mains filter in the way that can also act as a fuse.

The mains switch is isolated.

It is encased in a non-conductive compound case on a compound facia to prevent shock risk, exactly the point I have been repeatedly making the reason for the us of what you see as plastic, I see as compounds.

They are designed, usually, in a way that they will fall away and “dangle” free inside the case again to mitigate shock risk and to prevent some that wish to win a Darwin from trying to get around a busted switch with a knitting needle or something and believe me, I’ve seen that!

So no, it cannot happen all things being equal.

There are (or should be) multiple safeguards. Each with a reason for being.

But if people do dumb things like pout them in a wet environment, let them fill up with flammable fluff, do not maintain their home electrics and so on and on then sure, it can happen.

But man, you really need to be going pretty far off the reservation to get there.

In all the dryer fires I’ve ever seen and, I’ve seen a number, I’ve yet to see one I could categorically say was a manufacturing or design defect without doubt.

Plenty though with those and other appliances are down to one of the above as in, mains, improper use, improper care, idiotic things people do and what people put in them that they shouldn’t.

But at times, if not most, the first instinct is to blame the manufacturer, then claim them as they’ve got big fat deep pockets, make them pay for all and sundry… even when there’s absolutely not a shred of proof they did a single thing wrong and, I’ve still to see any for a good many instances that have been discussed.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if anyone tried to take you or whatever to court accusing you of a crime you’d be sure to want a fair trial and that there was sufficient evidence to support that accusation, wouldn’t you? After all, that’s perfectly reasonable surely?

Yet it all too often seems to me all people want to do is blame and claim or demand someone’s head on a pike. Evidence be damned, we don’t need that for a good old lynching.

Thankfully, that is not how the world works or the legal system in this and most other civilised nations.

How lucky we are to have a fair and balanced system, even if it kicks in and gets to the truth of the matter after public opinion has had its pound of flesh.

Emotive ill founded or informed comment is not constructive.

As Malcolm has repeated pointed out, it is for the likes of BSI and others to determine if there is any issue and, if there is what a reasonable course of action to improve that would be.

K.

The politicians never seem to have any idea about normal every day life so wouldn’t have much of a clue about the danger of some white goods The Grenfell Towers fire is a very good example

Who owns share then

Still no recall on BEKO Gas cookers that have claimed the lives of several people. Disgusting that the big companies have the government departments in their pocket.

Patricia Terhorst says:
16 September 2017

Quality control needs to be stepped up to make sure that these appliances have been properly checked for fire and other hazards
Government urgently needs to bring in to force safety measures
And for the machines to be recalled

Peter Jackson says:
16 September 2017

I have an elderly Hotpoint 1200 “Aquarius” model 9936 washer/dryer. It is a condensing machine so does not have a warm air vent. After some 25 years, it is still repairable when anything goes wrong, and has been “fixed” several times by a friendly local technician. Recently, prompted by the Whirlpool drier fires, I asked what happened to any lint or fluff in my machine, because it has no lint filter to service. Apparently any bits of fluff are conveyed away down the drain with the cooling water flow, so it does not accumulate anywhere in the machine.

A prompt action by the Government is needed to prevent more fatalities.

Yes prompt action required

K.Wilkinson says:
16 September 2017

No action is simply not good enough. Lives have been lost, peoples homes and lives have been ruined. This disgrace must not be allowed to continue.

After the Grenville fire you would have thought the Government would have been keen to investigate this.

Sylvia says:
16 September 2017

Sorry to get email forwarded into my email domain very sad to hear that parliament will not be hounding Whirlpool for their faulty tumble dryers and especially the fire at London Tower block Hotpoint fridge freezer in this block caught fire may have caused such inferno .Why wait now for many more of Whirlpool appliances burning out causing much damage the figures are alarming please. deal with this asap: must not be ignored for everyone sake

From what I hear, it would be wrong to blame Whirlpool for singlehandedly causing the extreme consequences of the Grenfell Tower fire.

After all, it was not they who installed flammable cladding, or failed to install and maintain fire sprinklers and fire barriers. Neither did they advise residents to “stay put” when the fire first broke out. I wonder how many lives might have been saved if that poor advice had never been given out by the fire service. (Don’t worry, I’m sure they will be beating themselves up over it.)

Typical Conservative attitude, let the probes burn, let big business set the standards. Wait till we’re “sovereign” again. Then we can relax the EU safety standards and coin it,

I believe the applicable safety standards for appliances are set by international committees, within which BSI and their appointees will present the UK consensus, from an assemblage of both manufacturers and other stakeholders.

When we leave the EU, I doubt that we will be able to have appliances that are either safer or less safe than those conforming to international standards, simple because most appliances are designed for world market and manufacturers won’t want to suffer reduced economies of scale by making UK-only versions.

But what we could do – even right now – is spend more money on electrical safety.

I agree that leaving the EU should not affect safety, but I’d like to know what you have in mind about improving electrical safety, Derek.

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I am concerned about the size of multi-national companies and the influence they have over governments. I don’t know why the Whirlpool handling of the tumble dryer issue was tolerated. What I was looking for was Derek’s thoughts on how electrical safety could be improved.

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We can but try, Duncan. Practical design is something I can relate to, unlike politics.

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We’ve already discussed a lot of way to improve electrical safety on this channel.

One such topic covered compulsory registration schemes, so that if product recalls are issued, all of the affected products can be found and rectified.

A further area that worries me is the common domestic use of “run-till-failure” practice. In other words, we buy a new appliance and then expect to operate it with zero routine maintenance and safety inspections, until it fails. At that point we expect it to fail safe – as opposed to becoming a “missile hazard” (e.g. washing machine door glass) or an ignition source.

This all seems quite a tall order – and we wouldn’t dream of attempting this in UK workplaces, where we are subject to Health & Safety Law and so regularly inspect and maintain all our kit

If my 30 year old washing machine ends its life as a blazing inferno, can I really blame that on “poor design & manufacturing” from what Zanussi did when they made it 30 years ago? And, if I buy a cheap appliance now – what design life can I expect?

So how safe do we expect our electrical appliances to be?

If we have 10 million homes in the UK and each of them uses 10 assorted appliances and we don’t want to have any house fires in a given year, then we want to be able to buy appliances with individual average failure rates of less than 10^(-8) per year, even as they age and degrade. I think expecting manufacturers to be able to supply such machines for only a few £100 pounds each is quite a tall order.

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Actually Duncan, I’m more interested in the interpretation of the concept of “reasonably practicable” in so far as it must be applied by manufacturers when interpreting design standards.

For example, for some time now wavechange has been strongly arguing for the use of all metal casings on dryers while Kenneth Watt has been challenging some of those ideas on grounds of practicability. The old dryer my parents used to own did have an all metal casing but also, relative to much more modern dryers, it was fairly useless as a dryer. I doubt that those two facts were connected, so I think wavechange is making a fair point when advocating all metal cases. That having been said, current dryers do not feature this – but is that down to “reasonable practicality” or the simply “value engineering”?

With regard to public expectations, in a society where we cannot trust the average citizen to correctly fit a 3-pin plug, should we be allowing just anyone to own and operate a potentially dangerous electrical machine like a dryer? Do we want nanny state to come along and keep us all safe because, left to our own devices, we clearly don’t have a clue?

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The public expectation that appliances can continue to be used without maintenance (they may not even have been installed correctly) and the decreasing ability of owners to carry out maintenance. The latter is hardly surprising because consumer products require less maintenance (cars are a good example) and it has become increasingly difficult to carry out repairs. If we are going to encourage young people to gain practical skills, I think the best approach is to involve them in constructional projects. They would then be in a better position to understand how their skills could be used in the home. My school had well equipped workshops for metalworking and woodworking, but I have no idea about modern schools and colleges.

My view is that it is practical and economic to replace plastics with metal in the casing of appliances. It concerns me that vented and condenser tumble dryers include a heater that is hot enough to ignite lint and fluff from the fabrics they are used to dry. I have yet to check the relevant standard(s) to see if a maximum temperature is specified. Heat pump dryers operate at low temperature but there remains a possibility that sparks due to static electricity could ignite flammable materials. Hence dryers and other appliances should be able to contain a fire, taking into account that fires can start for a wide range of reasons in electrical goods.

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Thanks very much, Duncan. These look very useful documents and I will study them soon.

It’s not wrath at all Duncan, it’s just common sense in that all appliances have to meet or exceed the international standards and, to sound like a broken record yet again, if you want that to alter you have to change the standards. That’s it.

Plastics are used as they are far, far less likely to transmit a shock to the user and sure, you can protect against that and use metal but to do so you still need an insulating material that is probably flammable under certain conditions. So it may reduce the problem but it doesn’t solve it and may lead to others.

Aside which it would lead to a dramatic hike in prices.

To gain what?

What evidence is there that using metal facias and lids would in any way, shape or form help with fire prevention or spread as I’ve not yet seen a single study that would indicate that to be true at all.

Plenty opinion, rhetoric but zero evidence.

Even if you did all that, it still will not prevent exactly what Derek points out, people do crazy stuff at times and you can’t design out the user entirely.

Nor does it prevent people from running them till the point of catastrophic failure.

So all in all, common sense tells me that it’s not a cure for all ills by any stretch.

K.

We have been through all this before, Kenneth. I could show you commercial dryers with metal fascias. No doubt they are earthed to make them safe. To do this in a domestic dryer might mean a small decrease in drum size as previously discussed. There are always going to be flammable materials in dryers, the main one being several kilograms of fabric, plus the plastics used for electrical insulation and other purposes.

Here is a recent photo of a burned out tumble dryer that caused property damage, but thankfully no-one was injured:

Credit: Colyton Fire Station

Note how the plastic fascia and door have burned/melted, presumably allowing the fire to spread to the kitchen. The metal components are intact. In my opinion, this and other images that I have posted in various Conversations provide evidence that use of plastics allows fire to spread from appliances.

Even if users run their dryers till the point of catastrophic failure or simply forgot to clean the lint filter, I expect metal cases would prevent the spread of fire.

By that logic then, we should have metal furniture, metal sheds, metal doors, metal kitchens, metal beds….

Need I go on?

Would you like me to produce images of burnt out sheds, kitchens, sofas and more to prove my point that a single or even series of images does not in any way constitute evidence of an issue?

Like I said, common sense….

K.

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Oh I know full well what wavechange is getting at but treating the symptoms is hardly conducive to finding actual cures now is it?

But to illustrate the point, just search “garden shed fires”, people setting them alight with BBQ’s and so forth, keeping flammable liquids in there and using open heaters et all.

Or kitchen fires, surely then all deep fat fryers ought to be metal as well?

Or how about toasters?

What are we to do about flammable materials in cars? Use metal dashboards?

And these are just things that spring straight to mind. The notion of changing these is or could be viewed as ludicrous, total overkill and I am telling you point blank that using all metal on *MAINS* carrying products is extremely dangerous. That’s why they don’t do it any longer and not only would you pump up the price, you’d restrict where they could be installed *legally* and a whole bunch more problems would fall off the back of such a move.

So in short, it ain’t never, ever gonna happen.

The list of dangers around us is endless and it is wholly unreasonable to think that you can address them all and that’s the point I’m making along with, there’s only so much with reason that you can actually do and, that makes any kind of sense.

K.

And to underline the point and, to highlight another train of thought is flawed on this topic, here’s a heat pump one someone happened across…

[img[/img]

If I’ve got the code right of course as you can’t preview on here but it “went on fire”.

K.

I’m going to stick to discussing white goods. They contain a considerable amount of air that will provide oxygen to maintain a fire if it starts. An open base or vents will allow further air to enter providing oxygen to sustain a fire. If plastic in the casing melts or burns then this will draw in more air. On the other hand, a metal case should survive for sufficiently long to deplete the oxygen and the fire would go out. Properly earthed metal cases are electrically safe.

I presume that your ‘heat pump’ photo shows a small electrical appliance such as an ice-cream maker or dehumidifier. The plastic is obviously damaged by fire.

………….and so Whirlpool continues to fiddle while their machines continue to burn.

Victor R. Machin says:
17 September 2017

It is the responsibility of government to ‘protect’ us, the citizens of this country. They are clearly neglecting their duty by not keeping us safe from the sale of ‘dangerous’ goods. Disgraceful!

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How would we like it if the government simply banned the sale and usage of tumble dryers?

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The link did not work, Duncan, but I presume it is the second link on this page: https://www.electrical-forensics.com/Dryer/ElectricClothesDryers.html

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You need to copy and paste URLs, Duncan; it was a missing ‘s’ in the url you posted that stopped it resolving.

The debate about plastics has gone on interminably, as has “all metal” appliances. I have pointed out elsewhere, plastics performance is covered by long-standing and well-founded safety standards, and the question of fire safety in household electrical appliances is being currently re-examined by the international standards organisations and national standards bodies such as BSI. Their working groups will consist, i expect, of experts in the various disciplines involved, including those in the fire service. I have elsewhere referred to Underwriters Laboratory (USA) work on this which is part of the investigation.

Any one of us can pass our views directly to BSI. I already have. The relevant committee is CPL/61. If you feel strongly enough, I urge you to email them. I would like Which? to be a conduit for this kind of issue, representing the consumers’ views and collating the comments such as are made here. Simply talking about “good ideas” is not enough; they need to reach the people who are in a position to take action.

Now that I have access to standards I intend to make contact once I have studied the relevant documents. You have had access for much longer and could have pointed out the concerns about plastics. I suggest that it’s better to act rather than repeatedly push others to do so.

wavechange, please read my post above: Any one of us can pass our views directly to BSI. I already have.. I have contacted BSI on a number of occasions, and have reported this in Convos.

It would be interesting to have a summary of your submissions and the responses you received from BSI.

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I remember, Duncan. All the photos that I have posted in this and other Conversations show damage to plastic components but not to steel. Plastics are extremely useful materials but there are applications for which they are unsuitable.

duncan, the standards are quite clear about the tests required to show whether a non-metallic material meets their criteria. These relate to the purposes to which the material is put and the kind of abnormal conditions they will be required to work in. If changes are required then I expect the working groups will deal with them.

We can all give our views on such topics, and some may be proven correct. It is for those with expertise to conduct the necessary investigative work and to reach an appropriate conclusion. This is what the standards organisations are set up to do.

The relevant standard does not specifically mention the materials used in the cases of dryers, hence manufacturers have been able to replace metal with plastics that can burn or melt, allowing fire to spread. This design failure could have been outlawed many years ago.

From the earlier post “It would be interesting to have a summary of your submissions and the responses you received from BSI.
I, from time to time, have asked questions when something in a Convo seems to merit comment from an involved outside organisation – Ofgem, FSA, Bankers Association, BSI as examples and, if it seems useful and appropriate, have summarised it in the relevant Convo.

I consider that Which? should have a technical committee (if it does not already) , charged with delving into issues we raise and reporting back. There seem to be a number of people contributing to Convos who could help Which? and I’m sure they could recruit qualified people from their membership with expertise in different areas.

If Which? were directly involved with, for example, international standards organisations through BSI Committees, they would be in a position to transmit our relevant proposals for consideration by the various experts. They could, I hope, also keep us informed of the facts, the progress and the logic behind what is being considered.

I share your view that Which? should look at issues in more depth but do not see much evidence that this is happening. Many will be happy that Which? provides advice on which toasters and washing machines perform best. We can encourage and express our dismay, but there is no requirement for Which? to take action that we – and probably a minority of others – would like.

It would be very interesting to have a response from Whirlpool, as the relevant organisation in various Conversations.

It would also be interesting to have a summary of your submissions and the responses you received from BSI.

wavechange, you continually make these assertions but if you read the standard it deals with non-metallic materials and their resistance to burning and the spread of fire, with all the relevant tests to check their suitability. If a manufacturer uses inappropriate materials in inappropriate locations that do not comply with the standard then they are acting illegally. The standards organisations are the right people to deal with this; I have asked Which? many times to put themselves in a position to report on this sort of technical topic.

The incidence of fires in domestic appliances is very, very low, and they can be caused by an appliance fault, misuse, abuse, lack of maintenance. There are far more sources of fire in the home – data that has been posted before in these Convos. I would like to see expert comment on these issues so we all understand the considerations behind what has been done in the past and what is being proposed in the future. You can suggest “outlawing” anything you disagree with in this Convo, but what will that achieve? Perhaps you would raise your concerns directly with BSI and report back?

I reported some while ago, wavechange, that, following a question to BSI about fire in household electrical appliances and the work done by UL in the USA on “sealed” appliances, that internationally and at local level working groups were actively looking at the problem. I gave a reference then to one of the UL documents for all to read.

It would also be interesting to have a summary of your submissions and the responses you received from BSI. You have repeatedly urged me to contact BSI, so I would be interested to know what you have achieved by doing this. While I am glad that standards exist, I am not convinced that the standards for white goods are adequate.

Statistically, the incidence of appliance fires is low, I agree, but it is unlikely to comfort those who suffer damage to their homes or lose friends or family as a result of fire.

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wavechange, I’m not going to keep repeating what I have done. I would hope Which? would keep track of any contributions they think useful and put an overall summary together, not just one person’s views. That way we may achieve some balance.

duncan, in the context of Indesit dryers, the topic of this Convo, what relevant “rules and regulations”have been “removed by HMG”? I’d suggest it has been the means of enforcement that has been heavily diluted,

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Well as a business owner Duncan and having been for two decades now, I can assure you that there is more red tape, tax, employee rights, consumer rights and other assorted legislation as well as countless other hoops now to jump through that ever there was.

Added to which many businesses such as my own live in the “goldfish bowl” of online scrutiny by all and sundry with comments made often from a completely uneducated standpoint and some that are just downright malicious.

So the what I can only view as a “tin foil hat” type opinion on some sordid conspiracy to ease the burden on business is complete and utter cobblers. The facts I am afraid simply do not bear that out.

The whole “big business is out to get us thing” is fine and there’s some evidence to suggest that at times they don’t behave but they are under huge scrutiny and small companies cannot get away with some of the stunts the global boys play but, to tar all with the same brush is irresponsible.

And keep in mind, it is usually individuals within these organisations that are the problem whether for advancement or profit they do things that they perhaps should not but that can be seen in all walks of life from corruption in public services through to error or incompetence in health services or whatever in in any country you care to name.

Wrongdoing is not exclusive to business.

Most businesses, in my experience, act responsibly and within the law for sure and I would point out that they employ people, perhaps like yourself and others on here whom they must rely on to do their job correctly. After all, as you and others are fond of reminding, you have worked or are working so you have a direct relation to either business or public service and you will have or did have a responsibility in that regard also.

K.

What consumer regulations were “restructured by HMG”?

Kenneth, it would largely depend upon which side of the pond is making the law and the scale and size of the business. I was once married to a sales director of one of these large American multinationals and you would be very surprised to learn the extent of the corruption in the form of indoctrination, the wheeling and dealing that permeates, where laws are changed and manipulated along with the minds of its employees with large mortgages to pay and families to support. I was thankful to relinquish the security of a lucrative pension in return for my freedom from the grips of such narcissistic corruption and commercial skulduggery, all in the name of profit margins.

It’s a wicked world Beryl at all levels, some in business, some in government, some in local authority, some in public institutions, and all who indulge in crime and promoting war whether “official” or otherwise. These are institutions that have one thing in common – people. It seems that significant part of the human race have principles that differ from the rest of us law-abiding citizens who run their lives largely with a sense of fairness, social conscience and integrity.

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I agree Malcolm, it’s all about people.

People can do wrong in any walk of life and to single out business as being the “big bad” and “root of all evil” is simply wrong, a totally incorrect and frankly preposterous position to adopt. People can do wrong regardless of where they happen to be.

And of course government, any of them, will be pro-business or at least allude that they are as after all, they employ lots of people that generates lots of tax revenue. They’re be idiotic to support or convey any other sentiment as business is paramount to supporting any economy.

K.

If you want to look at the ways people in all walks of life behave “badly” and in their own interests, Private Eye carries a selection in its fortnightly journal (no publicity intended).

Quite right about profit-making business. They provide the money to the treasury to pay for their own projects and to provide wages for all those public servants.

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Well Duncan, deregulation has led to more in my view and, much more onerous hoops to jump through.

In some instances it seems business is being used as an unpaid police force for government, as well as being unpaid tax collectors. But then that’s another viewpoint not often aired on here.

K.

duncan, the question I asked was “What consumer regulations were “restructured by HMG”? In the context of product safety I’m interested to know just what you mean by this.

Surely the government is not colluding with big business again?

The Government are probably afraid of forcing a closure of the Yate (Indesit) factory and/or scuppering future investment by Whirlpool in the UK

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It’S not flipping rocket science, this must be addressed asap. Grenfell????????

I wonder whAt make of dryer they have in the Houses of Parliament? Can someone find out?

H.M. Jones (Mrs) says:
17 September 2017

My Hotpoint ( same group) tumbler drier was nearly seven years old when I was offered a replacement
by the group for a low price. I accepted the offer, sent the required money and this is where the problems began. I had buiders and scaffolding around the house. They proposed a date which was inconvenient . I responded and arranged a change of date over the phone which they accepted. On the first date the lorry
arrived complete with machine. Fortunately one of the builders knew how to reorganise the scaffolding which blocked the two entrance doorways. and he did this. The deliverers brought in the machine , opened and plugged in the power supply, attached the outlet hose and departed leaving the drier several feet from its correct position. i followed his up with the firm but received no sensible response or help.
After six monthsof waiting for a reply to ‘We will ring you back’ situation I bought an extension lead and improvised an extension on the air outlet with advice from our local tradespeople and so it remains.
The question I raise is why the local distributors of this make were not given the task of installing the new machines.
So far so good . the machine works well but correct installation by qualified installers should be part of the safety approach.

Boycott all Whirlwind products.
HSi and H& E warnings are ineffectual.
Only when there is serious injury or death may prompt gov action e.g. Grenfell towers otherwise its an individuals right to claim through the courts, another protracted affair.