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Are you keeping your dryer safe?

WE are told the reason our tumble and washer-dryers are catching fire is that we are not looking after them properly.

But I think the makers are to blame for not telling us how their machines, and advice on how to use them, have changed.

I've been a consumer champion for over 30 years and thought I knew a lot - but I'm shocked at the risks I've been taking with my dryer, according to today's small print.

Are you doing enough to keep your machine safe? Here is the drill: 6Unplug the machine at the electric socket after every load. Switching off is not enough as an electric charge can still go through machines. But what if your socket is hard to reach behind the dryer? 6Use the dryer only when you are at home - and awake - while it is running. So much for saving energy with cheaper programmes running overnight. 6Do not stop the dryer in mid-cycle to see if your laundry is dry yet - and especially not to pop in another load. That's because cooldown times at the end of each load are important to prevent overheating - and stopping in mid-cycle can cause safety cut-outs to trip.

6Never switch the dryer off with a hot load in the drum - that is a fire risk.

6Clothes can spontaneously combust if left in a hot pile inside or outside the dryer 6Clean the lint filters - but did you know there might be several filters? 6You are also expected to clean the drum after each load, remove fluff from the around the window and door seal and vacuum the outside of the machine to prevent dust build-up.

6Do not plug your dryer into an adapter or extension socket (I'm guilty of that).

All of which makes me wonder if the manufacturers have ever actually used a tumble dryer themselves.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 18, 2016
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