Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service issue tumble dryer safety warning after house fire

Published on: Wednesday, 23rd November 2022

Officials for Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service have issued a reminder about tumble dryer safety after attending a house fire in the early hours.

At 3:42am on Saturday 19th November, firefighters were called to reports of a fire at a house in Wirksworth.  All occupants of the property were out on arrival of the fire service.  Breathing apparatus and hose reel jets were used to extinguish the fire, which started in the basement of the property.  

An investigation has concluded the fire was most likely caused by a tumble dryer.  

Watch Manager Karl Dumelow said: “We may turn to the tumble dryer more often as winter arrives and the weather gets colder – but this can come with additional fire risks.  Thankfully, this property had a working smoke alarm fitted which activated and alerted the occupants to the fire, allowing them to get out safely and call 999.

“I would like to advise everyone to be aware of the risks associated with white goods, such as tumble dryers.  

“Check the area around your tumble dryer is clear and the lint filters are cleaned regularly to reduce the risk of fire.” 

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) recommends that everyone register their household electrical appliances for free at registermyappliance.org.uk

Registering your appliances is a quick and easy way to help keep your family safe - appliances can be up to 12 years old and you can register second hand appliances. 

It only takes a few minutes and means you will be the first to hear about known faults and product recalls. 

When using tumble dryers, DFRS would like to remind everyone of the following safety tips: 

  • Don't use tumble dryers at night or while unattended.  
  • Remove the lint from the trap after every load of clothes dried.  
  • Do not cover the vent or any other opening. 
  • Ensure the vent pipe is free of kinks and is not crushed in any way. Only use recommended vent pipes, and not improvised ones 
  • Only vent the warm air to the outside of a building. 
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions. 
  • Remove items from the dryer immediately after the cycle. 
  • Don't overload plug sockets. Ensure that no more than 13 amps are in any one plug socket. The Electrical Safety Council have an electrical socket calculator that you can link to and reference here
  • Do not put rags or materials into your tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids.  

If you don’t have a working smoke alarm, you are around eight times more likely to die in an accidental fire in the home – remember to test yours weekly.   

Every household should also have an escape plan just in case of a fire - it could help save the lives of you, your family and your visitors. 

For more information regarding home fire safety, visit www.derbys-fire.gov.uk/safety/at-home.

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