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20-12-19

NFCC will work with Whirlpool to raise awareness of washing machine fire risk

The National Fire Chiefs Council will be working with Whirlpool to ensure as many people as possible are aware of a potential fire risk with some Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines.

NFCC Chair, Roy Wilsher and NFCC’s electrical safety lead, Charlie Pugsley met with Whirlpool yesterday (December 19th) to discuss the recall.

More than half a million washing appliances will be recalled due to a potential issue with the door locking system. It is thought up to 20 per cent of the models sold since 2014 may be affected.

As part of the joint work, there will a publicity campaign in the New Year to ensure customers are aware of the issue and what steps to take.

The messaging – which will be issued via all fire and rescue services - will ensure as many people are informed about the recall. People will either be able to get their washing machine repaired or replaced.

NFCC has met with Whirlpool to look how we can ensure as many people as possible are targeted to remove affected appliances from their homes.

Whirlpool has announced it will issue a full product recall in January. In the meantime, people who own Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines - purchased since 2014 – should contact them to check if their washing machine is one of the models affected.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) - the UK product safety regulator –  is also aware of the issue.

Whirlpool has said additional customer services staff and engineers will be brought in to deal with the recall.

Chair of NFCC’s national Prevention Coordination Committee, Neil Odin, commented:

“NFCC welcomes the news that Whirlpool have decided to recall these potentially dangerous washing machines and we will work with them on a campaign to ensure the message reaches as many people as possible who own these appliances. We urge people with an affected machine to unplug them and not use it until the fault has been fixed.

“For a number of years, NFCC has highlighted the dangers of unsafe white goods; we have raised concerns about specific issues such as the risk of door switches causing fires, with both Government and the wider industry.

“This recall highlights the importance of ensuring that white goods are registered, so that customers can be made aware of potentially dangerous faults. We also urge people not to keep domestic appliances on escape routes from their properties.”

NFCC also reiterated that people should only use appliances such as washing machines and tumble dryers when the household is awake and will be able to respond in the event of an incident. 

Notes and advice:

  • People can do this by visiting Whirlpool’s dedicated recall website: https://washingmachinerecall.whirlpool.co.uk.  This includes a model checker tool and a full list of model numbers.
  • Customers can call Whirlpool’s freephone hotline 0800 316 1442.
  • Under the recall, customers will be given the choice of either a free-of-charge like-for-like replacement washing machine, or a free-of-charge in-home repair of their existing appliance.
  • The issue concerns the door lock system on certain washing machines sold in the UK under the Hotpoint and Indesit brands, manufactured between October 2014 and February 2018. When the heating element in the washing machine is activated, the door lock system can overheat which can pose a risk of fire.
  • NFCC’s advice to consumers is to unplug their washing machines and do not use.
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