10 Safety Tips you should know when using a tumble dryer
Over the last 5 years there has been a lot of incidents in the NEWS regarding Tumble Dryer Safety. If this is the first time you are hearing about this then make sure you read the article line by line, as this is a serious issue. Many people find comfort in brand names when buying large electrical appliances such as tumble dryers. However in this situation major brands of tumble dryers have been the root of the problem. The following brands have all been affected: Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline. Please note that there also may be other brands affected but it is only these that have come in the media spotlight over the last few years. There are statistics showing that up to 3 households per day report a tumble dryer catching fire in the UK. Hence this is being a very serious issue.
What is the problem with tumble dryers?
As clothes dry they produce dust. Normally there is a section of the tumble dryer that traps the dust, and then this can be removed (and should be removed after each use). The problem begins when the dust touches the heater element which is not properly protected in some tumble dryers. This causes the dust to set on fire.
Tumble Dryer Recalls versus modification
There were large debates as to whether faulty tumble dryers should be recalled or just modified. For the Whirlpool, the parent company of many of the effected brands, they chose the modification approach. This was mainly because they thought that a recall would be logistically difficult. So generally if a customer has bought a tumble dryer that is listed as dangerous then they can contact the manufacturer who has a plan in place to resolve the issue. However please note that there have been reports whereby a manufacturer has sent someone to apply a fix to a tumble dryer but then it has still caught fire after the fix has been applied. Hence the moral of the story here is to be very careful with tumble dryers.
Tips when buying a Tumble Dryer
- Always register your product with the manufacturer immediately when you purchase it
- Use a free online checker to validate the safety of your tumble dryer
- If you have any questions regarding how it will be fitted contact a qualified and approved engineer
Tips for using Tumble dryers safely
- Never put a tumble dryer directly below a central heating appliance
- Read the manufacturers instructions carefully and follow them.
- Clean the dust filter after every use.
- Do not cover vents or any openings on the dryer
- Ensure that the vent pipe is free of kinks and is not crushed
- Have your dryer serviced annually by an approved and qualified engineer
- Do not over load your dryer i.e. do not put too many clothes when running it!
- Do not leave the dryer on overnight or when you are not in the house.
- Do not put any clothes with flammable substances in the run.