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Tumble dryer warning from Fire Service

Firefighters at Chipping Norton have recently posted this warning about potentially dangerous tumble dryers, with a helpful checklist on how to prevent problems occurring.


It is this time of year when your tumble dryer comes into its own, drying clothes quicker and preventing wet washing on the radiators which can cause condensation or damp.

Tumble dryers and washing machines contain powerful motors with fast moving parts that get very hot. If you don’t clean and maintain your machine, excess fluff or lint can build up over time and possibly catch fire.

There are a number of warning signs to watch out for:

Does your tumble dryer smell of burning?
Are your textiles taking longer to dry?
Do the dried items feel hotter at the end of the cycle?
Does the external vent flap stay shut when the dryer is on?
If you notice any of the above, clean the filter and check the vent pipe immediately.

In addition, remember to:

Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using your dryer.

Never leave your appliance unattended or running overnight.

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.

Our advice is to never use tumble dryers and washing machines overnight; there is a risk of fire if these appliances develop a fault, and if this happens when people are sleeping, the risk to life is far greater.

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