It’s impossible to be 100% certain that a tumble dryer is safe.
Manufacturers wouldn’t release tumble dryers to the market unless they were confident that they were safe.
Despite this, unforeseen safety issues can be discovered years after the product was first released.
In 2015 a defect was discovered in tumble dryers made by Whirlpool, who own several brands including Hotpoint and Indesit. This defect is thought to have caused dozens of fires since 2004.
Research conducted by UK consumer charity Which? in 2018 concluded that faulty household appliances are responsible for over 60 fires a week nationwide.
The highest risk appliances were washing machines and tumble dryers. Among tumble dryer brands, Hoover and Hotpoint were considered more likely to cause fires.
Hoover was linked to 12% of tumble dryer fires, which is higher than its estimated market share of 10.2%. Hotpoint was linked to 31% of fires, which is higher than its estimated market share of 25%.
However, Which’s methodology has been criticised by manufacturers.
Tumble Dryers to Avoid
The following products have been recalled due to safety concerns. You can find up-to-date information on the UK government’s product recall page here.
Description: 6 and 7 kg condenser tumble dryers manufactured between May 2012 and October 2012.
Description: Beko and Blomberg 8 and 9 kg condenser tumble dryers manufactured between May and November 2012.
Hotpoint, Indesit, Swan, Proline and Creda
Description: Creda, Hotpoint, Indesit, Proline and Swan tumble dryers manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015.
Description: Siemens tumble dryers manufactured in 2002
What Happens When a Tumble Dryer Is Recalled?
When a manufacturer recalls a product, they will notify the relevant government authorities. They will also recall it from retailers and past customers where possible.
Sometimes the manufacturer is required to publicise the recall in newspapers and on TV.
If you have a proof of purchase such as a receipt, you may be able to get money back. Sometimes the manufacturer will send someone to collect the tumble dryer or send an engineer to fix the safety flaw.
According to Electrical Safety First, the success rate of electrical product recalls is just 10-20% in the UK, so there could be millions of potentially dangerous electrical items in UK homes.
Unless you’ve registered your tumble dryer with the manufacturer or you check lists of recalled products regularly, you won’t necessarily know if it has been recalled.
Which Tumble Dryers Are Safe to Buy?
New tumble dryers should be safe to buy, but it’s impossible to be 100% certain that a tumble dryer is safe.
The best thing to do is to choose a new tumble dryer, register it with the manufacturer so that you’ll find out immediately if it’s recalled, and follow the best tumble dryer usage practices to make sure you’re using it safely.
If you’re not sure which tumble dryer to buy, check out our roundup of the best condenser dryers here.
How to Use a Tumble Dryer Safely
Here are some tips for using a tumble dryer safely:
- Clean the lint filter and around the door between each use
- Get the dryer regularly serviced by a qualified engineer
- Don’t overload the dryer with bulky and heavy items such as duvets
- Let each cycle finish completely
- Unplug or switch off the dryer when you’re not using it
- Don’t put items with flammable substances such as oils and solvents in the tumble dryer
- Don’t put the tumble dryer on overnight or while you’re out of the house—if it does catch fire you want to know as soon as possible
Here’s a quick overview of how to maximise your safety when choosing and using a tumble dryer:
- Don’t buy a tumble dryer that has been recalled. If you already own a tumble dryer, check that it hasn’t been recalled.
- Follow best practices to use your tumble dryer safely.
- Register your appliance with the manufacturer so you will hear from them if the product is recalled. You can register your appliance using the AMDA’s safety initiative Register My Appliance here.