Tumble dryer warning from fire bosses

n TUMBLE DRYER SAFETY Washing Machine and DryerFire chiefs in Cleveland are urging local residents to carry out regular maintenance checks on household appliances such as tumble dryers, washing machines and dishwashers to prevent fires in the home.

The warning from Cleveland Fire Brigade comes during Electrical Fire Safety Week (23-29 September) which is designed to highlight the dangers that electrical items can pose and how residents can stay safe by following some simple advice.

Statistics show that a third of all accidental house fires in Cleveland are caused by faulty or misused electrical equipment.

Les Jones, Head of Community Safety with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Household appliances such as tumble dryers, washing machines and dishwashers contain powerful motors with fast moving parts that get very hot. If they are not cleaned and maintained regularly, excess fluff or lint can build up over time and catch fire.

“During Electrical Safety Week, firefighters and Brigade personnel are attending a number of drop-in events to help spread the message about how people can safeguard against the dangers of electrical equipment.”

Tumble dryer tips are as follows:

Look after your tumble dryer:

  • Always read and follow manufacturer’s instructions before using your dryer
  • Never overload your dryer or put items in that have been used to soak up flammable liquids
  • Keep it well ventilated ensuring the vent pipe is kink free, not blocked or crushed in any way
  • Never leave it unattended or run it overnight
  • Have it serviced regularly by a qualified engineer.

Don’t ignore the warning signs:

  • Does your tumble dryer smell of burning? Always unplug it before opening it to investigate.
  • Are your clothes taking longer to dry, especially heavy items such as towels or jeans?
  • Do the clothes feel hotter than usual at the end of the cycle?
  • Does the external vent flap stay shut when the dryer is on?

If people notice any of the above, clean the filter and check the vent pipe immediately.

Mr Jones added: “We also have lots of information on our website – www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/tumble – along with a short video to help people understand the simple safety tips that could save their life and the lives of others.”

Cleveland Fire Brigade offers residents a free Home Fire Safety Visit, where firefighters will come to your home and give valuable safety advice and help make an escape plan which will be tailored to you and your family’s needs. Free smoke alarms will be supplied and fitted if needed. Call us on 01429 874063 to arrange a visit at your convenience.