Tumble dryer safety warning

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WITH tumble dryers much more in use at this time of year, both Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Trading Standards are urging people using these appliances to take extra care.

In 2012 Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service responded to 57 property fires caused by tumble dryers, an increase of 40% on the previous year. In the first week of 2013 there were five fires with the same cause.

Tumble dryers have powerful motors with fast moving parts which get very hot. A common issue is that if users don’t clean and maintain their machines, excess fluff can build up on the filter which could then catch fire.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnston, said: “With this wet winter weather more and more use is likely to be made of tumble dryers to dry clothes over the coming months.

“It is important that filters are regularly checked and cleaned to ensure they do not become blocked. A build up of fluff and lint inside the machine is a major fire risk. Machines should not be overloaded with clothes and the manufacturers’ instructions for use, including the maintenance, should be followed.

“We would always advise people to be in the house when their dryer is being used so that if there is a problem and there is a fire, you can be alerted to it as soon as possible. And never leave the machine running overnight when you are in bed asleep. Smoke alarms should be installed in your house and checked regularly to ensure they are working.”

Trading Standards Officials are also urging owners of Beko 6kg and 7kg condenser tumble dryers and White Knight condenser tumble dryers to check when they were made after the firms issued a safety warning that certain models could overheat due to an electrical component failure, leading to a potential risk of fire.

County Councillor Albert Atkinson said “Consumers who own a White Knight condenser tumble dryer that was built in October 2010 or have recently purchased a Beko condenser tumble dryer should check both the model and serial numbers,

“If consumers think they have an affected dryer, they should stop using it immediately and disconnect it from the wall socket as a precaution. Consumers who own a Beko appliance should then contact the company on freephone number 0800 917 2018 in order for the company make a free-of-charge, in-home modification to the dryer to remove any potential risk with the component. White Knight appliance owners should call freephone 0800 952 1102 to arrange for the tumble dryer to be replaced free of charge.”

The affected Beko tumble dryers have a model number of either DCU6130W, DCU6130S, DCU6130B, DSC64W, DSC64S, DC7110W, DC7041W, DCU7230W, DCU7230S and DCU7230B and a serial number (the 10 digit number on the plate after ‘S/N’) which has 12 as the first two digits and either 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, or 10 as the last two digits.

To find out which White Knight tumble dryers have been affected, visit White Knight’s dedicated website http://www.whiteknightrecall.co.uk/

Anyone with concerns about the safety of goods they have purchased can report the matter to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 040506. For a free home fire safety check, call Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service on freephone 0800 169 1125 or visit www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk