Popular dryer ‘fixed’ so it’s safe bursts into flames forcing family to flee

A fire-risk Whirlpool dryer which had been “fixed” by the company caught alight, forcing a family to flee their home.

Richard Smith said the blaze caused windows to smash, melted part of a floor, “and put the lives of my family in danger”.

Up to five million machines had a design fault, which allows fluff to touch the heating element and has caused at least 750 fires.

Whirlpool began a drive to modify affected dryers after the problem was discovered in 2015.

Richard’s IDV75UK machine from Indesit – a brand bought by Whirlpool in 2014 – was supposedly made safe two years ago.

But it caught fire in March while his partner and two ­children were at home.

Richard, of Pembrokeshire, South Wales, said: “If Whirlpool hadn’t assured us the modifications had made the product safe, we would have removed it.”

It comes after a report by the Government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards said modified dryers posed a “low” risk.

Consumer group Which? said the finding was “deeply flawed”.

David Chaplin, from Which?, said: “[Richard’s] shocking story compounds concerns Whirlpool’s so-called fix may be falling well short.

"The Secretary of State, Greg Clark, must step in and end this scandal by ensuring all fire-risk dryers are immediately removed from people’s homes.”

Dozens of people with “fixed” dryers have reported fires or a strong smoke smell. Whirlpool’s Creda and Hotpoint brands are also affected by the design fault.

Whirlpool said safety was its number one priority and it is investigating Richard’s case.

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