Samsung washing machine catches fire in HDB flat

Update: Samsung Singapore responds to incident following official investigation

In a rather random and unfortunate event, a Samsung washing machine caught fire in an apartment at Segar Road on Wednesday afternoon (November 9).

A 42-year-old-woman was doing her laundry and left the washer for less than 10 minutes, when she started smelling something unusual. She rushed back to find the machine engulfed in flames and thick smoke.

After being alerted at 11.50am, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) sent one fire engine, two Red Rhinos, two fire bikes and one support vehicle to the scene where the blaze was then extinguished with a compressed air foam backpack.

No injuries were reported but the toilet walls, ceiling and air-conditioning pipes were burnt, while the washing machine was reduced to charred metal.

Samsung Electronics Singapore said that it is working to reach out to the affected user and that “Customer safety remains our highest priority and we want to work with any customer who has experienced an issue with a Samsung product in order to investigate the matter and support them.”

Issues with their washing machines seem to be rising, following complaints that the top of the machine can unexpectedly detach during use, posing an injury risk from impact.

There have been at least nine reported injuries, including a broken jaw, injured shoulder and fall-related injuries, prompting the company to recall about 2.8 million top-load washing machines across 34 models sold between March 2011 and November 2016.

But Samsung assured that the recall does not affect washers in Singapore stating, "We can confirm that this does not impact top-load washer models sold outside of North America."

[Source: Channel NewsAsia]

Official cause of incident

Update (21/11/2016): Samsung Singapore has reached out to clear well, the smoke regarding the incident.

"Samsung has completed the investigation into the incident involving our washing machine. Based on the available information, the cause of the incident is likely due to moisture from the bathroom where the washing machine was placed, which may have resulted in a electrical short circuit to the washing machine."

In case you were wondering how to prevent this from happening in your own home, Samsung has also offered up the following safety recommendations:

  • Do not install the washing machine in an area exposed to moisture or weather, or in an area which may be prone to water leaks. In the event of a water leak, allow the machine to dry naturally
  • Do not operate the washing machine if the power supply cord is wet
  • When cleaning the washing machine, do not spray water directly onto the washing machine and its parts
  • Avoid exposing the washing machine to direct flame
  • Do not use multiple appliances attached to the same outlet, as it may cause a power surge
  • If the power supply cord is damaged, please contact the manufacturer

Additional text by Elissa Loi