Fire risk warning over Beko tumble dryers

Do you have one of the tumble dryers?
Do you have one of the tumble dryers?

Beko has issued a safety alert for thousands of tumble dryers over concerns they could pose a fire risk, including one model found to have caused a blaze that killed a mother of two.

The manufacturer said 3,450 of its condenser tumble dryers could pose a fire risk due to an overheating component as it began a voluntary repair programme "as a precautionary measure".

The safety notice concerns five Beko and Blomberg 8kg and 9kg capacity dryers sold between May and November 2012 and carrying the model numbers DCU9330W, DCU9330R, DCU8230, DSC85W and TKF8439A.

Beko has urged anyone who owns one of the machines to stop using it immediately and disconnect it from the wall as a precaution.

In an statement posted on its website, Beko said: "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.

"As a responsible manufacturer, we have decided to proactively contact the owners of these condenser tumble dryers to offer a free of charge in-home check and to modify affected products to remove any potential risk. This is completely free of charge and will take no longer than 30 minutes."

Beko has asked consumers to check the model and serial number of their dryer on its website and, if affected, to register for an engineer to check and if necessary repair the machine.

It added: "We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this causes you and we want to reassure you that we are doing our very best to resolve this matter as quickly and efficiently as possible."

In August last year a coroner found that a defective Beko DCS 85W - listed as DSC85W under the safety alert - caused a house fire that killed mother-of-two Mishell Moloney in her bedroom, although Beko stressed on Tuesday that the fault related to the fatal blaze was separate from the problem identified in the safety alert.

The 49-year-old was found to have died after being overcome by carbon monoxide fumes and smoke caused by a small fire in the tumble dryer in the downstairs kitchen.

Birmingham Coroner's Court heard that Beko had received reports of 20 previous fires in the same model, but none had the defect thought to have caused the blaze that killed Ms Moloney.

Recording a narrative verdict, Emma Brown, area coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, said: "It's my conclusion Mishell's death was due to smoke inhalation from a fire that was caused by the Beko tumble dryer within her kitchen.

"The source within the tumble dryer was the printed control board (PCB).

"It's not possible to identify the nature of the defect which caused the fire."

In February, Whirlpool upgraded a warning to consumers with faulty Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda dryers to unplug the potentially dangerous machines until they have been repaired.

Fire chiefs warned in October that owners of the faulty dryers must stop using them immediately, after one of the machines was found to be the cause of a huge blaze in an 18-storey tower block in Shepherd's Bush in west London.

London Fire Brigade said it believed a faulty Indesit dryer was the cause of the August 19 blaze, following a "painstaking" investigation.