Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) are urging people to ensure they have a working smoke alarm in the wake of national concerns over the safety of tumble dryers.
TWFRS issued the message after thousands of appliances branded as Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda, manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015, were recalled as faulty.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service responded to several fires caused by tumble dryers last year.
“So I would urge residents to fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly to ensure it works. It could mean the difference between life and death if you do have a fire in your home, whatever the cause.
“Smoke alarms give early warning of a fire and offer you the chance to escape before smoke builds up to lethal levels.”
If you are concerned about the safety of the electrical appliances in your home, you can find out if they have been recalled for safety reasons by going to the Electrical Safety First website at http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/product-recalls/2016/02/hotpoint,-indesit-and-creda-tumble-dryers/
If you are concerned about the safety of a product that appears on the Electrical Safety First recall list, stop using it and contact the retailer, manufacturer or your local Trading Standards office.
There is also a new scheme being launched at the end of this month which will ensure that people who buy faulty electrical goods receive quick automatic alerts in the event of a product recall.
Until now, the onus has often been on consumers to check whether their models are affected in the event of recalls.
However, the new programme from the UK's Retail Ombudsman will enable members of the public to give their contact details at the point of sale. The details will then be entered onto a central register.
In the event of a recall, the buyer will then be automatically notified by text or email if they need to act about their faulty appliance.
For more information on the Retail Ombudsman scheme go to http://www.theretailombudsman.org.uk
Here are some simple fire safety tips for the safe use of tumble dryers:
Signs that your tumble dryer is not properly ventilated:
General fire safety advice:
For more fire safety advice and information regarding product recall go to http://www.twfire.gov.uk/community-safety/prevention/public-safety-information