Defective dishwasher blamed in death of New Jersey woman

A 47-year-old New Jersey woman was killed on Wednesday by a fire that investigators are blaming on a faulty dishwasher, according to The tragedy is a reminder of the potential dangers that can result from defective appliances.

Sallie Brady was pronounced dead at Good Samaritan Hospital in nearby Suffern, N.Y. after firefighters, answering an early morning 911 call, found her unresponsive on the living room couch, Ramsey Police Chief Bryan Gurney told Preliminary autopsy results show she died of smoke inhalation.

There are no details yet on the dishwasher model or the nature of the defect. But dishwashers are among the appliances singled out in a Consumer Reports investigation into appliance fires. In our analysis of data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System, we identified more than 1,000 fires that could be clearly attributed to electrical or other problems with a dishwasher.

In addition, there have been several major recalls of dishwashers in recent years due to fire-related defects. The Consumer Products Safety Commission indicated that it is investigating the issue.

It's important to register new appliances so that you'll be notified promptly if a product is recalled. Fire-prevention equipment, including smoke alarms on each level of your home and in every bedroom, is also essential. For more information and advice, read our full investigation "Appliance fires: Is your home safe?"

—Daniel DiClerico

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