Tumble dryers can pose a fire risk if they are not properly maintained or if there are issues with the appliance. Here are some factors to consider to minimise the risk:
Dryer lint is a serious fire hazard
Lint consists of tiny fibres that come off clothing during the drying process. Lint is highly flammable, and when it accumulates in the lint trap, exhaust vent, or around the heating element of a dryer, it creates an environment conducive to fire.
To minimise the risk of lint-related fires in your tumble dryer, follow these safety measures:
- Clean the lint trap before or after every use. Remove lint from the trap to ensure proper airflow and prevent lint build-up.
- Periodically inspect and clean the exhaust vent leading from the back of the dryer to the outside. Remove any lint or debris that may have accumulated.
- Consider using a lint filter or lint trap on the exhaust vent to capture additional lint and prevent it from accumulating in the vent.
- Schedule professional maintenance for your dryer regularly. A qualified technician can inspect and clean internal components, ensuring the appliance is in good working condition.
Avoid overloading the tumble dryer, as this can lead to overheating. Overloading the dryer restricts the free flow of air within the drum. Proper airflow is crucial for the drying process and for preventing the overheating of the appliance. When clothes are tightly packed, air circulation is compromised, and this can lead to a build-up of heat.
Additionally, when the dryer is overloaded, it may struggle to reach and maintain the desired temperature. This can lead to the generation of excessive heat, creating a fire hazard.
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the maximum load capacity of your tumble dryer. Overloading is not only a safety risk but can also result in less effective drying.
Maintain proper ventilation
A blocked exhaust vent prevents the release of hot air and moisture from the dryer to the outside. This trapped heat can contribute to the overheating of the dryer and the lint within it.
Ensure that the exhaust vent is unobstructed and properly vented to the outside. Regularly clean the vent to prevent lint accumulation.
Don’t leave the tumble dryer running overnight or while you are out
Leaving a tumble dryer unattended can pose several safety risks and potential hazards. In the event of a malfunction or fire, being present allows you to respond quickly. Early detection of issues can prevent more extensive damage or potential harm.
Check for recalls
Check if your tumble dryer model has been subject to any recalls. Manufacturers may issue recalls for certain models due to safety concerns. The reasons for recalls can vary, but they generally involve issues that could lead to accidents, injuries, or damage.
This could include design flaws, manufacturing errors, or issues that arise after the product has been on the market.