Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is warning people about the fire risks connected to tumble dryers, following a house fire yesterday (22 May) in Durrington.
Firefighters were called to the mid-terraced property in Windsor Mews at 11.08am, and found a well-developed fire on the ground floor spreading to the first floor.
A total of three crews from Amesbury and Salisbury, supported by an aerial ladder platform from Basingstoke, tackled the blaze, which caused significant damage to most of the house.
Group Manager Tim Gray said that the fire had started accidentally in a tumble dryer, adding: “While what exactly caused this fire to start remains under investigation, it is a sharp reminder that tumble dryers and washing machines carry a real fire risk – for example, they contain powerful motors with fast moving parts that can get very hot. We would always urge anyone who owns such machines to do all they can to reduce the risk of fire, through regular cleaning and maintenance.”
There are warning signs to watch out for where a tumble dryer may be at risk of catching fire – if you notice any of these, you should clean the filter and check the vent pipe immediately:
- There is a smell of burning
- Textiles are taking longer than usual to dry
- Dried items feel hotter at the end of the cycle
- The external vent flap stays shut when the dryer is on
The following advice should also be followed:
- Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using your dryer.
- Never leave your appliance unattended or running overnight – there is a risk of fire if a fault develops, and if this happens when people are sleeping, the threat to life is far greater.
- Never put rags or materials into your tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids.
- Keep your dryer well ventilated, ensuring that the vent pipe is kink free, not blocked or crushed in any way.
- Never cover the vent or any other opening, and only use recommended vent pipes and not improvised ones.
- Clean the filter in your dryer after every use.
- Only vent the warm air to the outside of the building.
- Have your dryer serviced regularly by a qualified engineer.
- Always have working smoke alarms installed in your home and test them regularly.
The Service offers free Safe & Well visits – to see if you qualify, or for more home fire safety advice, visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safety