Another potential fire risk safety notice been issued. This one affects Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit brands of tumble dryer (which are all part of the same manufacturing group). Remarkably it covers potentially millions of condenser and vented dryers sold over the last 11 years. It’s probably safe to say that most Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit dryers are affected. The manufacturer (recently acquired by Whirlpool) have published the following statement –
A potential concern with two types of tumble dryers manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015. In some rare cases, excess fluff can come into contact with the heating element and present a risk of fire”. Basically it’s been found that a build up of fluff can in some cases come into contact with the heating elements and ignite. As an engineer I can confirm that tumble dryers can accumulate quite remarkable amounts of fluff inside – due to either poor design, damaged filters or if the filters aren’t carefully looked after and cleaned after every use.”
Which tumble dryers are affected?
The affected brands are: Hotpoint | Indesit | Creda tumble dryers manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015
Over 100 different models are affected. It’s important to note that if you bought one of these tumble dryers after September 2015 it does not guarantee your model is not affected. The affected dryers were manufactured between the dates quoted above but it’s possible to have a new appliance delivered that was manufactured some months previously or even theoretically many months previously. Therefore if you have any Hotpoint, Creda or Indesit tumble dryer you should check to see if your model is affected using the links below.
How to check if your dryer is subject to the safety notice
It’s very easy. Get your model and serial number from behind the door and enter the numbers into the manufacturer’s web sites below and then follow any instructions –
Green spot sticker?
If your tumble dryer has a small green spot sticker behind the door, or near to the door seal, or anywhere on the machine including the back then this apparently indicates that the fault has been fixed in the past. This is more likely if you have had any engineer to repair it previously. Presumably they have known about this for some time and engineers have been instructed to modify all affected dryers they have been called to regardless of the reason for the visit, and to place a sticker to indicate it has been done. It’s up to you to decide if you trust it’s been done or not.
Is it safe to keep using an affected tumble dryer?
The safety notice specifically says, “consumers may continue to use their products, provided that appliances are not left unattended whilst operating”. However, clearly the notice has been issued because one could suddenly catch fire – so use your common sense. Personally I would say get it checked out asap, and if required, have it modified before using again. If you must use it you need to not leave it running without anyone close by and accept that it could catch fire. If you are not going to be in a position to deal with any fire and have no suitable fire extinguisher etc then just do not take the risk.
More advice on fire risks in appliances
I’ve always advised never to leave any washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher running whilst no one is around and these safety notices only confirm the wisdom of such advice. Tumble dryers – particularly condenser dryers – need to be properly looked after. If you have any brand of dryer you should make sure you are aware of all the filters inside and ensure they are always clean. Condenser dryers in particular can have several filters with some of them hidden behind panels or doors. Blocked filters can cause overheating!