Tumble dryer fire prompts safety message from Aylesbury Firefighters

Fri 17 Jan, 2020


Picture of tumble dryer


Firefighters are reminding householders of some simple safety steps when using electrical appliances such as tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers. This follows a fire in Aylesbury last night (Thursday 16 January 2020). 

Two crews from Aylesbury responded to a call to a fire in tumble dryer, at Stadium Approach just after 11pm. The fire was out when they arrived, but they used positive pressure ventilation to clear smoke, and removed the tumble dryer from the house and into the garden.

Watch Commander Jamie Ewers said: “We believe the cause of the fire was a fault with the belt, and that an extreme heat build-up from friction eventually made the contents of the dryer ignite.

“This could have been a serious house fire with a very different outcome, had the circumstances been different. Luckily the occupant was home, had working smoke alarms which alerted them, and they had shut the kitchen door which prevented the smoke spreading through the house. 

“I would like to remind everyone who uses electrical appliances such as tumble dryers, dishwashers and washing machines that we advise you only use them when you are at home and able to respond to the early signs of a fire developing.”

Watch Commander Ewers provided the following as top safety tips when using electrical appliances:

 - 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.

 - Make sure you have working smoke alarms inside your property

 - Close internal doors when you go to bed/leave property for any length of time.

There are also some specific safety messages that Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service provides when using tumble dryers:

 - 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.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service would like to thank the householder for allowing the pictures to be taken and shared to help raise awareness of this safety warning.