In the past year around 3,700 appliances have caught fire because they were faulty. Have you been affected by a faulty washing machine, fridge, tumble dryer or dishwasher?
We submitted a Freedom of Information request to the government for two-years’ worth of data about faulty appliance fires.
We found that faulty washing machines (14%) and tumble dryers (12%) caused the most fires, followed by dishwashers (11%), ovens (8%) and fridges (7%).
Find out what to do if you own a recalled appliance in our guide, including dishwashers, washing machines, tumble dryers and fridges.
Is your kitchen a fire risk?
So, is enough being done to ensure the products in our homes are safe? The law states that all appliances must be safe and that if something goes wrong manufacturers should take action, such as implementing a recall. If a product recall is required, manufacturers generally try to contact customers directly (as long as they have the contact details) as well as publicising the issue more widely.
However, we think that some manufacturers have moved too slowly. Your safety must be the priority, which is why we think manufacturers should act fast to recall products as soon as they realise they’re faulty.
One Which? reader told us about a faulty dishwasher fire that caused £58,000 worth of damage to their home. Although the manufacturer had started to contact faulty dishwasher owners prior to the fire, it didn’t have her details and the public notice was released after the fire. We had also highlighted the potential issue with this dishwasher a year earlier in Which? magazine.
Moreover, our research has found that a quarter of us own a product that’s been subject to a recall or safety notice. This means that many are sitting in people’s homes, either because they don’t take action or because they’re not aware the products have been recalled.
What do you think should be done?
When we asked people what they thought should be done to improve things, suggestions included a central database for all recalls, and for manufacturers to collect contact details for use only if there’s a safety issue.
We want the government and manufacturers to do more to analyse and share the data they already collect on appliance fires in order to help reduce the thousands of fires caused by faulty products.
What do you think should be done to improve things? Have you owned a faulty appliance? What did you do?
Has your car suffered a problem that merits a manufacturer recall?