Avoid a breakdown! 7 top tips for appliances.
Everything needs a little maintenance to keep it in tip top condition, whether it’s checking your car tyres, clearing the gutters on your house, or even going to the dentist! Your domestic appliances are no different – they need regular maintenance for them to work efficiently, extend their lifespan, and to prevent any risk of a fire. Maintaining your appliance isn’t just about keeping it in good working order; it could save your life.
The latest Fire Statistics for Great Britain show that for the period 2013-2014, faulty appliances and electrical leads caused 2,921 fires in homes. Out of these fires:
- 579 were caused by faulty washing machines
- Faulty tumble driers caused 567 domestic fires, and
- 448 dishwashers caught fire.
It’s not just the big ticket items that can cause fires. 30 fires were caused by faulty irons and 29 caused by hairdryers.
Which? Report on Appliance Fires
Further to these figures, the BBC recently reported that "In June, consumer group Which? said that nearly 12,000 fires in the past three years in Britain had been the fault of defective white goods and kitchen equipment."
Which appliances caused the most fires?
- 14% washing machines (1,723)
- 12% tumble dryers (1,456)
- 11% dishwashers (1,324)
- 9% cookers (1,080)
- 7% fridges / freezers (861)
- 5% central heating (606)
- 4% toasters / grills (495)
- 4% microwaves (427)
- 3% TVs (372)
- 2% washer dryers (225)
- 1% irons (92)
(Proportion and number of fires caused by faulty appliances between January 2011 and March 2014 based on government fire data) Source: Which?
Here are our top 7 tips to maintain your appliances around the home:
- Always read the manufacturer’s instruction booklet. These will recommend the things you need to do regularly (e.g. remove the lint from the filter in your tumble dryer; wash the filters monthly in your electric vacuum cleaner; defrost your freezer, and so on)
- Check the appliance over regularly and make sure the electrical lead is in good shape. If there are any nicks or the lead seems to be coming away from the appliance or the plug, get a qualified professional to have a look at it
- Regularly inspect any seals (including those on doors) for wear - and make sure you clear any fluff from filters after every drying session with your tumble dryer
- Do not allow hard water scale, dirt or food particles to build up – keep your appliance clean on the inside and the out (again, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions as to the best way to clean your appliance.)
- Never overfill your washing machine or tumble dryer. Smaller loads can mean cleaner clothes and longer-lasting machines
- Always use the suggested detergents and cleaning solutions for each appliance
- If you have any doubts, get professional advice. They can give you care and maintenance advice as well as help troubleshoot.
These simple things will help keep your household appliances in the best shape possible, making them work more efficiently, last longer and, most importantly, be safe.
Fire Risk - Whirlpool, Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit Tumble Dryers
The latest news (as reported in The Telegraph) is that owners of large air-vented dryers and condensing dryers bought between April 2004 and October 2015 under the Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda brands may need to have them fixed as they pose a serious fire risk.
The cluprit is excess fluff building up in the filter - which can catch the heating element and cause a fire.
Taking heed of our 7 tips above will help reduce this danger, but if you own one of these machines, it would be prudent to:
- Clean your fluff filter after every drying session - no matter what tumble dryer you own
- Check the manufacturer's website to see if your model number is affected - Hotpoint's is here
- If it is an affected model, do not leave the machine unattended if you continue to use it
- Arrange with the manufacturer to come and fix your machine - it should take around an hour
- Look at protecting your tumble dryer with extended warranty insurance if it is under 8 years old
- The BBC article is here.
- The Telegraph article is here.
- The Hotpoint safety notice announcement is here.
In a press release we issued earlier this year KAPUT warned that as many as 70% of consumers failed to appreciate the way in which warranty insurance works and that the age group most likely to have this gap in their knowledge are 45 to 54 year olds.