Business

Fire risk alert issued over Beko tumble dryers

Beko safety notice

Hundreds of Beko tumble dryers, including a model that caused a house fire killing a mother-of-two, need to be fixed amid safety fears.

The company has issued a safety alert about the fire risks of 3,450 of its condenser tumble dryers.

They were manufactured five years ago, but owners are only now being told to stop using them immediately.

One of the affected models led to the death of Mishell Moloney last year, but the alert relates to a separate issue.

The alert also follows a separate - and much bigger - modification programme by Whirlpool. That related to 5.3 million faulty Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda dryers manufactured over the course of 11 years, which also posed a fire risk.

In the latest safety notice, Beko is alerting customers with 8kg and 9kg Beko and Blomberg condenser tumble dryers - manufactured between May and November 2012 - to register for a free modification, if required, after checking the model and serial number.

They can do so by visiting the Beko repair site or the Blomberg repair site and entering the model number into the online product checker, or by calling a freephone number - 0800 917 2018.

"As part of our ongoing monitoring we have identified a batch issue with a third party supplied component which in rare circumstances could fail and overheat, which could lead to a risk of fire," the alert said.

The company said that the fault was highlighted during "regular monitoring" in its factory, but that a full recall was unnecessary.

"We will endeavour to repair affected machines within 10 working days once they have been identified and customers have been contacted," the company said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mishell Moloney died in February last year

The affected models are DCU9330W, DCU9330R, DCU8230, TKF8439A, and DSC85W - the last of which was the model that led to Mishell Moloney's death and was responsible for 20 other fires.

Birmingham Coroner's Court was told in August last year that Ms Moloney was discovered at her home in Coriander Close, Rubery, after relatives found window blinds blackened with soot and forced their way in. An investigation found the fire started in or around the area of the dryer's printed circuit board (PCB).

A spokeswoman said the safety notice did not relate to the PCB, but another part of the dryer.

"Ms Moloney's death was a tragic and isolated incident. As stated by the coroner at the inquest, the source of the fire within the tumble dryer was most likely the printed control board. The component in this repair programme was excluded by forensics experts as the cause so is therefore unrelated," Beko said.

Immediate advice

In this case, those with an affected product are being told to "stop using it immediately as a precaution".

Such advice was only given to those affected in the Whirlpool case after fresh guidance was given from trading standards some time after the modification programme was underway.

Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services at consumer group Which?, said: "All owners of Beko or Blomberg 8kg and 9kg condenser tumble dryers should urgently visit the Beko website to check whether their model is at risk of catching fire."

Andrew Mullen, head of quality at Beko, said: "A small number of Beko and Blomberg 8kg and 9kg condenser tumble dryers have been affected by this faulty component, however we would urge any customer who thinks that they may be affected to check.

"Whilst there is a low level of risk, we are taking the proactive step of initiating a voluntary repair programme to ensure we can modify all affected products."

Emma Drackford, of charity Electrical Safety First, said: "Our research shows that one third of consumers said that they would continue to use a large appliance, even after it had been recalled. This is too big a risk to take. It is vital that consumers take Beko's advice by checking their tumble dryer and stop using their dryer if affected."


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