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More fire warnings: tumble driers and smoke alarms

Following on from our recent blog about the safe running of electrical appliances, there have been some new safety guidelines issued regarding tumble driers. If you own a Hotpoint, Creda or Indesit tumble drier manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015, then you need to check immediately if your model is affected.

Tumble driers sold under these brands have been the cause of a number of fires and we have written about this in the past. The advice up until now has been that they are fine to use as long as someone is in attendance. But now Trading Standards has ordered that they should not be used at all until they are repaired. Which? has gone further and called for a full recall of all the models involved.

There is a very simple way of checking if your model is affected: you just need to visit either the relevant Hotpoint or Indesit site and follow the instructions.

In the meantime, there was also news last week about how ineffective smoke alarms can be at waking up children. This follows a tragic fire in Derby where six children died despite correctly-functioning smoke alarms.

Apparently it’s all to do with the sound frequency of fire-alarm beeps, which is too high. Scientists at Dundee University found that 27 out of 34 children involved in tests slept through these alarms. But when it was changed to a lower pitch, accompanied by a women’s voice saying ‘Wake up, the house is on fire’, the children were more responsive.

These new devices are now on test. In the meantime, the advice is to ensure you have smoke alarms on every level of your house and that you test them regularly.

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