Tumble dryers and washing machines contain powerful motors with fast moving parts that get very hot. If you don’t clean and maintain your machine, excess fluff or lint can build up over time and catch fire.
There are a number of warning signs to watch out for:
- Does your tumble dryer smell of burning?
- Are your textiles taking longer to dry?
- Do the dried items feel hotter at the end of the cycle?
- Does the external vent flap stay shut when the dryer is on?
If you notice any of the above, clean the filter and check the vent pipe immediately.
In addition, remember to:
- Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using your dryer.
- Never leave your appliance unattended or running overnight.
- Never put rags or materials into your tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids.
- Keep your dryer well ventilated, ensuring that the vent pipe is kink free, not blocked or crushed in any way.
- Never cover the vent or any other opening, and only use recommended vent pipes and not improvised ones.
- Clean the filter in your dryer after every use.
- Only vent the warm air to the outside of the building.
- Have your dryer serviced regularly by a qualified engineer.
- Always have working smoke alarms installed in your home and test them regularly.
Our advice is to never use tumble dryers and washing machines overnight; there is a risk of fire if these appliances develop a fault, and if this happens when people are sleeping, the risk to life is far greater.
Whirlpool washing machines
In December 2019, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) committed to supporting Whirlpool with their recall campaign to ensure that as many people as possible are made safe from the fire risk relating to affected models of Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines.
More than half a million washing machines will be recalled, which is around 20% of the models sold from 2014. This translates as one in 60 homes potentially having a washing machine which may pose a fire risk. NFCC is aware of 79 fires caused by affected machines.
The fault lies with the door switch and the issue appears to be unique to certain Hotpoint and Indesit models. Whirlpool have launched a full product recall of the affected washing machines and will replace the machine or if, the customer prefers, make a repair to the machine (the choice is with the consumer).
NFCC are advising customers that have confirmed they have an affected model to unplug and not use the machine at all. Whirlpool are advising customers against using their affected washing machines but, if they are still going to, advise using it at a temperature of 20c or lower to reduce the risk – NFCC does not endorse this advice.
To check whether you have an affected machine, you will need its model and the serial number. These can be found either in the recess of the door or on the back of washing machine. You can find the list of affected models below:
For further advice, contac Whirlpool on 0800 316 1442 or visit www.washingmachinerecall.whirlpool.co.uk
Whirlpool tumble dryers
Whirlpool has identified potential concern with two types of tumble dryers manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015. In some rare cases, excess fluff can come into contact with the heating element and present a risk of fire. The affected brands are Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda. Whirlpool branded tumble dryers are not affected by this safety notice.
The company has said it will arrange a visit from an engineer, free of charge, to modify your appliance. The service call will take approximately one hour. The improvements believed are necessary will further enhance the safety and quality of your dryer.
Trading Standards has advised that updated usage advice should be communicated to affected consumers. If your tumble dryer is affected by this issue, you should unplug it and do not use it until the modification has taken place.
Visit https://safety.hotpoint.eu/index.jsp for further information about this safety notice.