tumble dryers, washing machines, dishwashers

Follow this advice to reduce the risk of a fire

Firefighters are reminding householders to follow some simple safety advice when using tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers.

In the past 12 months, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has been called to 41 fires involving washing machines (nine in Buckinghamshire, seven in Milton Keynes), tumble dryers (12 in Buckinghamshire, six in Milton Keynes) and dishwashers (five in Buckinghamshire, two in Milton Keynes).

General safety

  • Don’t leave the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher running overnight or while you are out. They are a fire risk because of their high wattage, friction and motors.
  • Look out for product recall notices, which are released in the media and listed on the Electrical Safety First product recall checker.
  • If you haven't already done so, many domestic appliances up to 12 years old can be registered on the Register My Appliance website. Click here for more details.

Tumble dryer safety

  • 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 used recommended vent pipes, and not improvised ones.
  • Only vent the warm air to the outside of a building.
  • Do not put rags or materials into your tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids.

Tell-tale signs that your tumble dryer is not properly ventilated:

  • Clothes take a very long time to dry, especially heavy articles of clothing such as towels or jeans.
  • Clothes feel hotter than usual at the end of the cycle.
  • The flapper on the vent hood remains closed when the dryer is on.