More warnings about tumble dryer fire risks

Following a number of national newspaper reports of fires caused by electrical faults in tumble dryers, more details on the potential threat have emerged.

Figures compiled by the Daily Mirror newspaper indicate that tumble dryers are responsible for more than 300 fires in the UK every year - many of which have been started by faulty machines that have been subject to a safety alert. The figures showed that 926 tumble dryer fires took place between 2011 and 2013.

At the same time, consume group Which reported that electrical faults have affected 113 models of tumble dryer manufactured by Whirlpool and subject to a safety alert issued in November last year.

In response 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.”

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