Up to one million potentially deadly tumble dryers are still being used in homes across the UK, despite the faults being made public in 2015 – according to manufacturer Whirlpool.
The firm’s communications director Ian Moverley admitted to a committee of MPs that it had repaired only about half of its faulty Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit dryers so far – and was struggling to contact those who were still using them.
Some of the faulty appliances may already have claimed lives. In Wales, two men reportedly died when one of the dryers caught fire, and the cause of a London tower block blaze might also have been down to one of the machines.
The issue raises some interesting questions about how many properties might be home to unsafe dryers, fridges, ovens, televisions and so on – particularly those occupied by unsuspecting tenants.
Rob Dolbear is managing director of HCR – a relocation specialist also offering a bespoke service, called MYTAS, for those seeking corporate accommodation within the UK. “We all rely on household appliances to a certain extent, and the same is true for those moving into rented homes,” he says.
“Landlords have a responsibility to ensure the homes they are offering are safe, whether that means arranging annual gas safety checks, electrical testing or checking that furniture is fire-retardant. Sadly, there are some who do not comply with regulations – and tenants across the UK are innocently going about their daily lives in homes that could potentially be very dangerous.
“Keeping up with the rules and regulations that are designed to protect tenants is a continuous challenge. But it is also vital. And it’s not only the safety of appliances that should be reviewed. Ponds, swimming pools, hot-tubs, furniture and even pull-cords for blinds are all subject to safety checks. And landlords must also provide carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
“This really is where expert knowledge comes into its own. Human beings are living in the properties we help source and arrange. Aside from all the legal implications of something going tragically wrong, the emotional consequences are unimaginable.
“Sourcing properties and making sure clients get the very best deals from landlords is a key aspect of our service, but the safety of those who will be living there is also paramount – and should never be overlooked or taken for granted.”