Cleaning the tumble dryer could prevent ‘devastating’ fires and ‘thousands of pounds of damage’

Homes in the UK could be at risk of tumble dryer fires as figures show millions of Brits never clean their appliance lint filters.

A survey of more than 4,500 UK adults found that one in 20 (five per cent) admitted they never clean their tumble dryer lint filter, the equivalent of two million people across the country.

One in 12 people only clean their lint filter once a year or less, putting them at risk of a build-up of lint that can be ignored and lead to a fire.

Now Brits are being urged to clean their tumble dryer filters after new financial figures revealed how expensive a tumble dryer fire can be.

Figures from Admiral Home Insurance revealed that the average insured claim for a tumble dryer fire was a whopping £25,000 over the past three years.

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Tumble dryers are responsible for a large number of appliance fires in the UK.

In fact, fire services across England have tackled more than 3,200 tumble dryer fires over the last five years, which is almost two a day.

Giuseppe Capanna, product safety engineer at Electrical Safety First, said one of the “easiest ways” to reduce the risk of a dryer fire is to clean the lint filter after each use.

He said: “Forgetting to clean your lint filter is not only potentially costly, it could put you and your home at risk.

“Fluff is very flammable and excessive accumulation could cause a fire that not only severely damages your home but also endangers the lives of you and your family.”

Research by Electrical Safety First found that clothes dryer owners increase the risk of dryer fires in several ways, including not cleaning their lint filters and using extension cords to power their dryers.

Shockingly, 40 per cent of tumble dryer owners in the UK admitted to using extension cords.

However, extension cords can become overloaded when too many high-power devices are plugged into them. The extension cord can overheat, which can result in a fire. Electrical Safety First encourages homes to plug their tumble dryers directly into an electrical outlet.

One in seven respondents also admitted that they use their dryers overnight because of the faster response time in the event of a fire.

Nearly one in ten also admitted to not having working smoke detectors in their homes, meaning they have no heating system in the event of a fire.

Claire Charlton, Admiral’s head of household damage, said fires in tumble dryers could be “devastating”.

She added: “If the fire spreads it could cause thousands of pounds in damage.

“Nobody wants their home to be destroyed by fire. So by taking the time to clean your lint filter regularly, you can avoid heartaches later.”

Electrical Safety First has published 10 rules to remember when using and maintaining a tumble dryer:

  1. Register all devices with the manufacturer for easy safety recall.
  2. Find out about product recalls on Electrical Safety First’s online portal.
  3. Clean the lint filter after each use.
  4. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to see if other parts of the device also need regular cleaning.
  5. Check the tumble dryer for scorches or burn marks, as well as loose or frayed wires.
  6. Avoid overloading the dryer and send large items to a dry cleaner.
  7. Let all drying programs complete completely.
  8. Do not stop the dryer in the middle of a cycle unless you are quick to remove the items and leave the door open.
  9. Do not put clothes contaminated with combustible substances in the tumble dryer.
  10. Avoid leaving appliances, including clothes dryers, on overnight if possible, and unplug or turn them off when you leave the house.

Post source: Express

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