Tumble dryers are a popular appliance - they save precious time when you have several washloads to contend with, and there’s nothing better than putting on a freshly-warmed garment on a rainy day!
However, there is concern about the safety of some tumble dryers and people wonder which tumble dryers are safe to buy. Whirlpool has issued a product recall for half a million tumble dryers because they are at risk of bursting into flames.
How safe are tumble dryers? Realisitically, they are safe if your dryer is not part of the recall list and you follow the tips below.
Tumble dryer recall list: Is my tumble dryer safe?
According to the government, a fault discovered in 2015 on some Whirlpool tumble dryers was responsible for more than 750 fires over 11 years.
The company’s Indesit, Hotpoint and Creda tumble dryers were found to have a fault on them. The government said this affected more than 5 million tumble dryers.
If your tumble dryer is one of these brands, and you think it could have been manufactured in 2015 or earlier, stop using it and call Whirlpool on 0800 151 0905.
You can also check for product recalls on the Electrical Safety First website.
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How to maintain your tumble dryer
Maintaining your tumble dryer correctly is key to fire safety. Make sure you:
- Clean out the filter and door after every use, removing any fluff and cleaning the lint screen. Softener sheets can cause a waxy build-up on the screen – if you notice this, wash it in warm soapy water and don’t put back in the dryer until it’s completely dry. It’s also a good idea to vacuum out any fluff every 6 months.
- Once a year, check the vent pipe and clear out any fluff, lint or debris.
- Look out for burning and scorch marks, or if garments seem hotter than usual at the end of a cycle. Also check for loose wires.
- Get it serviced every year by a qualified electrician.
How to use your tumble dryer safely
- Always allow each programme to complete fully. Don’t stop the dryer in the middle of a cycle – but if you do, remove the clothes and leave the door open.
- Don’t leave your tumble dryer on overnight. Ideally, unplug it at night and when you go out.
- Never overload your tumble dryer. If you have a large item like a duvet, take it to the dry cleaners instead.
- Don’t put anything in your tumble dryer that has soaked up flammable liquids, such as cooking oil and cleaning fluids.
- Don’t leave damp items in a hot or warm tumble dryer – start the cycle immediately.
Other tumble dryer safety tips
- Always register your tumble dryer – and in fact any appliance – with the manufacturer. This means if there is a product recall, they should contact you. It should also make things easier if you need to return a faulty product.
- Make sure your tumble dryer is properly installed – ideally by a qualified electrician.