Parmelia fire prompts washing machine warning

The Samsung washing machine that burst into flames in a Parmelia house.
The Samsung washing machine that burst into flames in a Parmelia house.

A HOUSE fire in Parmelia has prompted a joint warning from fire and product safety authorities in WA following the recall of certain models of Samsung top loader washing machines which could pose a serious fire hazard.

A Samsung washing machine burst into flames in a Parmelia house on Wednesday , causing estimated damage of $5000 to the appliance and the rear of the property.

The householder detected smoke coming from the laundry and had poured some water on the fire while calling 000. Department of Fire and Emergency Services fire units attended within minutes and extinguished the fire.

This is the eighth fire reported since June 2013 in WA that is believed to be started by a defective Samsung washing machine. In another incident, a washing machine in a Shenton Park home created a fire in December 2014, which caused estimated damage of $100,000. Nationally there have been 206 fire incidents reported.

In some circumstances, moisture may penetrate the electrical connectors of the top loader washing machines, causing a fire hazard.

The models subjected to the recall were manufactured between 2010 and 2013 and include model numbers: SW75V9WIP; SW65V9WIP; SW70SPWIP; SW80SPWIP; WA85GWGIP and WA85FWWIP. A total of 14,483 of these models were sold in WA but only 5973 have been rectified and made safe by Samsung.

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe is concerned that there are still 8510 affected washing machines in WA homes which have yet to be fixed by Samsung.

�We urge consumers who have Samsung washing machines in their home to check the model numbers at the back of their machine or on their receipt,� Mr Newcombe said.

�Samsung are trying to locate owners of these machines but they need the help of the community to do so.�

Director of Energy Safety Ken Bowron urges affected consumers to take urgent action.

�If your machine�s model number matches the recalled models, you must contact Samsung immediately and they will arrange for a technician to rectify the problem free-of-charge,� he said.

�In the meantime, we recommend consumers do not operate the machine when not in attendance and switch it off at the power point when not in use or if there are any signs of smoke.�

DFES assistant commissioner Metropolitan Darren Klemm urged householders to give this issue a high priority in order to prevent future fires.

�The householder in Parmelia was lucky that she was at home when the fire broke out and took immediate action,� he said.

�If the machine was left on while no-one was at home, the house could have been completely destroyed.�

Customers with affected models should contact Samsung on 1800 239 655 between 8am and 8pm AEST on any day or email wm.samsung@samsung.com to verify if the machine is affected by the recall. For more information, go to www.recalls.gov.au.