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Bexley woman who escaped fire caused by tumble dryer calls for increased awareness of faulty white goods

PUBLISHED: 12:41 08 February 2018

Safety notices were issued over Indesit tumble dryer. Picture: London Frie Brigade

Safety notices were issued over Indesit tumble dryer. Picture: London Frie Brigade

Archant

A woman from Bexley who escaped a devastating fire in her flat, which was caused by a faulty tumble dryer, is calling for Londoners to be alerted when they have dangerous white goods in their homes.

Radhika Popat, 43, was woken by her smoke alarm after the fire broke out while she was asleep in her flat in Sidcup High Street.

She is now furious that she didn’t know that the Indesit appliance she had was one of dozens of models which manufacturers were forced to issue a safety notice about after they were identified as a fire risk.

She has welcomed government plans to launch a public database of potentially deadly faulty white goods, something the Brigade’s Total Recalls campaign has been calling for since 2016, and says if she had known about the problem she would have done something about it.

While Indesit did make efforts to contact people who had registered their appliance with the manufacturer to let them know about the fault, anyone who hadn’t done so may not be aware about the fire risk.

The Brigade is also calling for better publicity around recalls and safety notices.

Ms Popat said: “I bought it online so the retailer had my email and my address.

“There should be a way for manufacturers to get that information across to customers.

“I’ve had the dryer since 2014 and I now know that it was a ticking time-bomb, but who knows how many other people have this same machine in their home.

“I have been lucky and I’m praying that everyone else is safe.

“The recall register is a very good thing to have and it could definitely save people’s lives.”

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “This shows that manufacturers should step up and really invest in promoting safety notices and recalled products.

“Fires like this can be devastating for residents and in some cases, fatal.

“This fire also highlights just how important it is to have working smoke alarms in your property.

“There could have been a very different outcome to this fire if there hadn’t been any.”

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