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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Firefighters tackle tumble dryer blazes

21/10/2014

Fire appliance
Fire engine

Firefighters are warning people of the dangers of tumble dryers following a trio of incidents in the east of the county.

"The cold weather tends to go hand in hand with an increase in tumble dryer fires. We have already responded to a few such incidents in the east of the county recently. These three incidents show how much fluff can build up within the machines and the filters and how easy it is for it to catch fire." 

Watch Manager Richard Walsh

 A crew from Tamworth Belgrave attended a fire at a property on Medway at 8.56am today.

The incident was caused when fluff – which was blocking the filter - caught fire. The crew took the tumble dryer outside and extinguished the flames.

Firefighters then used a Thermal Imaging Camera to check that nothing else in the property had been set alight. The crew returned to its station at 9.11am.

A similar incident occurred at Hockley Road in Tamworth at 6.54pm on Friday, October 17.

Firefighters from Tamworth Belgrave removed the tumble dryer, which was 36-years-old, from the outhouse.

An inspection revealed that the fire was due to a large build-up of lint between the drum and the casing at the back of the machine. The crew returned to its station at 7.03pm.

A third incident took place on The Wickets, Stapenhill, at 6.20pm on Thursday, October 16.

It was caused by bits of fluff which had clogged up the extractor pipe. This trapped the heat in the pipe and set the fluff alight at the back of the machine.

The fire was already out when crews from Burton arrived however, they ventilated the property which had light smoke damage and treated a female occupant with Oxygen Therapy. Firefighters left at 7.10pm.

All three incidents were classed as accidental.

Watch Manager Richard Walsh, who led the incident at Medway, said: “The cold weather tends to go hand in hand with an increase in tumble dryer fires. We have already responded to a few such incidents in the east of the county recently. These three incidents show how much fluff can build up within the machines and the filters and how easy it is for it to catch fire.

“There are some simple steps that people can take to stay safe – check your tumble dryer thoroughly before using it and remove any bits of fluff in the drum or filter. It is also vital that the machines are turned off when you leave the property and overnight.”

For information on electrical fire safety visit: http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/424.asp