Tumble dryers cause almost one fire a day

Washing Clothes
Washing Clothes

Millions of people could be sharing their home with a potentially deadly tumble dryer. New figures have revealed that the machines are responsible for more than 300 fires in the UK every year - many of which will have been started by faulty machines that have been subject to a safety alert.

The figures were compiled by the Daily Mirror, which discovered 926 tumble dryer fires took place between 2011 and 2013 - which works out as 309 a year.

It was unable to confirm how many of these fires were started by one of the five million Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit dryers that owner Whirlpool issued a safety alert about in November last year.

It covered dryers manufactured between April 2004 and October 2015. The fault in question means that fluff which has built up in the machine can touch the heating element, setting fire to it.

According to Which? the fault affects 113 models of tumble dryer - or 80% of those produced during the period - including 80 out of 93 Hotpoint dryers, 28 out of 37 Indesit tumble dryers, and five out of 11 Creda dryers.
What can you do?

You can check whether your tumble dryer is subject to the safety alert at http://safety.hotpoint.eu or http://safety.indesit.eu where you can register to have your machine serviced. Alternatively you can call the company on 0800 151 0905. Unfortunately at the moment there is around a 10 week wait for an engineer.

The Fire Bridge Union urged anyone with a tumble dryer to contact the manufacturer and check whether it needs to be serviced to correct a fault.

Whirlpool says that anyone with an affected machine should contact the company to have it serviced, and in the meantime not to leave it unattended while it is drying - and to clean the lint filter after every use.

However, Emma Apter, Head of Communications at Electrical Safety First, urges people to go further. She says: "It has come to our attention that some manufacturers advise it is safe to use their products as long as they are supervised during operation. We at Electrical Safety First do not share this view. If you have an appliance that has been recalled we advise you to stop using it until it has been inspected and declared safe to use by a manufacturer's engineer. It is simply not worth risking a fatality."

Preventing Dryer Fires: Experts Say Keeping Your Lint Trap Clean Is Just Part of the Safety Cycle
Preventing Dryer Fires: Experts Say Keeping Your Lint Trap Clean Is Just Part of the Safety Cycle