The following is a response by a CCAI member regarding the Electrolux Dryer Fire article that was posted on July 8, 2014.
I appeared in Federal Court in San Diego this year as the plaintiff’s witness in a subrogation case against Electrolux dryers. The fire occurred in Fallbrook, CA 2008. It involved a two story single family residence with the washer and dryer located on the second floor. I was called to the scene to investigate the fire.
When I arrived, the Electrolux dryer was in the front yard and the top had been opened by the fire department. I did my usual exterior and interior inspection and arrived at the laundry room. The fire was confined to envelopment of the laundry room; with smoke damage extending out the laundry room door.
I inspected the room for all signs of ignition and found none. I looked at the dryer exhaust. I interview the insured and proceeded to the front lawn to inspect the dryer.
The dryer had very defined plum and burn patterns indicating the area of the fire’s origin within the dryer. The Electrolux dryer cannot be accessed from the rear and therefore I did not remove any interior parts. I took all necessary photographs.
The adjuster was on hand, and we discussed removal and storage of the dryer. The adjuster said he would take charge of the dryer and make arrangements for storage.
When I was in trial, the defense attacked me, because I did not take photographs of the dryer exhaust on the side of the residence, second story. Further, I did not photograph the interior of the exhaust line to see if it was plugged with lint. I testified that the dryer exhaust opening, within the laundry room, appeared to be clear. I testified that the dryer was the area of origin, and something within the dryer was the ignition source. Not good enough.
The defense’s position was that the insured did not call a professional and have the lint removed; the dryer would need to be dissembled. They also contended that the exhaust line may have been plugged with lint and thus lint backed up within the dryer further adding fuel and ultimately igniting. The jury did not find enough evidence to suggest a design flaw with the dryer and therefore ruled in favor of Electrolux.
The trial I was in marks the fifth trial that Electrolux has won. They claim the design of the dryer does not cause fires. I strongly suggest that if anyone is investigating a dryer fire and especially Electrolux, be prepared to run a camera snake the full length of the exhaust line and take as much of the exhaust line as possible to be preserved as evidence along with the dryer. In this case, I could not have taken the exhaust line without tearing into the wall. However, even though the Electrolux dryer was the ignition source, the jury believed that Electrolux was not liable for the fire.
See Electrolux article here
Recall Date: July 10, 2014 Recall Number: 14-228
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
Name of Product: Power adaptor/chargers (promotional giveaway)
Hazard: The adaptors can overheat, posing a burn hazard.
Read full recall report at CPSC
In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.
U.S. Fire Administration
Electricity is a basic part of residential life in the U.S. It provides the energy for most powered items in a contemporary home, from lights to heating systems to television. Today it is hard to imagine a residence without electricity. It a part of our homes and our activities that most of us take for granted. We rarely think how powerful electricity is.
Yet, using electricity can have dangerous consequences. Electrical fires occur frequently throughout the U.S., causing injury, claiming lives, and resulting in large losses of property. From 2009 to 2011, an estimated 25,900 residential building electrical fires were reported by U.S. fire departments annually.
Electrolux dryers are dangerously vulnerable to catching fire, according to complaints, consumer reports, and recent lawsuits. Allegedly, some electric and gas models of Electrolux dryers contain a defect that allows lint to build up in areas unserviceable to owners and close to a heat source, posing a heightened risk of fire. At least one previous lawsuit also points to a possible bearing failure that causes the drum to move and make contact with the rear heating element, creating sparks which may light lint and other flammable objects.
Introduced by Assembly Member Jefferies
December 1, 2008
The following is from
"An act to amend Section 451.5 of the Penal Code."
AB 27, as introduced, Jeffries. Arson: aggravated: punishment. Existing law defines the crime of aggravated arson, and makes a person guilty of that crime if the fire caused property damage and other losses in excess of $5,650,000. Existing law specifies costs to be included in calculating property damage for purposes of these provisions and states legislative intent to review the property damage threshold in light of inflation within 5 years. Existing law repeals the provisions relating to property damage on January 1, 2010. This bill would increase the amount of damage required for a person to be guilty of aggravated arson from $5,650,000 to $6,500,000 and extend the repeal date for the provisions relating to property damage until January 1, 2014. By extending the operative effect of an existing crime, this bill would create a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes."
A full description of this proposed bill is at:
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