National concerns over the safety of tumble dryers

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,-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

Here are some simple fire safety tips for the safe use of tumble dryers:

  • Don’t leave it unattended when switched on
  • Don't leave it on overnight
  • Remove the lint/fluff from the trap after every load
  • Don’t cover the vent or any other opening
  • Ensure the vent pipe is free of kinks and is not crushed in any way
  • Only used recommended vent pipes
  • Only vent the warm air to the outside of a building
  • Do not put rags or materials into the tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids

Signs that your tumble dryer is not properly ventilated:

  • Clothes take a very long time to dry, especially heavy articles of clothing such as towels or jeans
  • Clothes feel hotter than usual at the end of the cycle
  • The flapper on the vent hood remains closed when the dryer is on

General fire safety advice:

  • Have a working smoke alarm on each level of your home
  • Check that your smoke alarms are working every week
  • Discuss and agree with your family what to do if there is a fire – plan an escape route

For more fire safety advice and information regarding product recall go to