prevent a tumble dryer fire

5 Ways To Prevent A Tumble Dryer Fire

While we don’t always think it, we’re thankful to have tumble dryers in our lives. They help us clean and dry our clothes in no time at all – freeing up our spare time to be spent on the things we love. However, despite the benefits, tumble dryers can also cause huge problems.

As people look to squeeze every minute out of the day, tumble dryers can be left on overnight, can be left on while people are out of the house, or are constantly always on. This creates serious health and safety risks – including risk of fire. While you may not think this could happen to you, the threat of tumble dryer fires has gotten so much that fire and rescue services across the UK are doing their best to make people aware of tumble dryer safety precautions.

In fact, freedom of information stats from 2010 to 2016 revealed that nearly 4,000 fires in the UK were caused by tumble dryers. With a further 2,000 estimated, this means that there could be as many as 1,000 fires a year in the UK caused by tumble dryers.

As our team of talented engineers at Repair Aid consistently install, repair and maintain domestic appliances around London, we’re well placed to know a lot about tumble dryers. As such, we’re sharing the top five ways that you can prevent a tumble dryer fire in your home.

#1. Keep vents uncovered and clean

While your worries of a dryer fire may be based around your machine, you should also be keeping an eye on your vent. Vents that have been inadvertently covered or are home to lint build-up create a fire risk. If you’re noticing that your clothes are hot to touch, or they are infused with a somewhat unpleasant odour when removed from the machine, then it could be because your vent is clogged up.

To prevent any of these things from happening, make sure to clean your vent every few months and also ensure that any outdoor vent covers are open when the dryer is operational.

# 2. Clear out the lint

Lint and fluff is an unavoidable by-product of washing and drying clothes; it’s why every tumble dryer has a lint trap. However, lint can also end up building up within the innards of your machine too. As it continuously clumps together, lint is, at best, a driver of humidity, mould and mildew; at worst, a major fire risk.

Thankfully, lint is manageable. Regularly clearing out your lint trap, screen and filter will help, but a lint brush can also help you to get lint out of those hard-to-reach areas. Once you’ve done all of that, make sure to run your dryer on an air-only cycle to help push the remaining lint particles out into the vent. But, as in point number 1, that’s why you need to clean both your machine and your vent with regularity.

# 3. Sweep away debris

In a similar vein to the first two points, it’s important to not just clean inside the machine and clean inside the vent, but also to clean the area around the dryer itself. Lint and dust around the dryer can increase the risk of a dryer fire – as can materials and liquids that are stored too close to the dryer (such as flammable liquids).

Being observant of how the heat from your dryer affects the surrounding area can reduce the risk of a tumble dryer fire.

# 4. Avoid running your tumble dryer while you’re away or asleep

There’s a temptation to run your tumble dryer while you’re at work or asleep. This can often be because of time constraints or if you’ve got young kids who need their school clothes washed on a daily basis. However, running a tumble dryer unsupervised is a definite fire risk and could place you and your loved ones’ safety in jeopardy if your machine develops a fault.

If you’ve got a machine with a built-in timer, try to match up your washing and drying times with when someone’s at home.

# 5. Get your machine regularly serviced

Not only is it best to make sure that your machine and vent is regularly cleaned, but you should also make sure it is getting annually serviced by a professional. A yearly check by a qualified engineer can help to identify and spot faults that could pose a fire risk, as well as ensure that your machine is operating at peak performance.

At Repair Aid, our engineers service tumble dryers, washing machines, dishwashers and other household appliances.

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