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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Endon resident issues warning after recalled tumble dryer catches fire

26/02/2016

Carol Frost and her son Max pictured with the tumble dryer

An Endon resident is warning people never to leave their tumble dryers switched on and unattended after her recalled appliance caught fire on February 20.

“I’d received a product safety letter from the manufacturer just two days earlier in which it stated that the machine was safe to use as long as it was not left unattended.I always empty and clean the filter after each use but my tumble dryer still caught fire."

Carol Frost

Carol Frost was preparing lunch for her son in the kitchen of her Greenfield Road property when she noticed a plume of white smoke.

Upon investigation she discovered the faulty tumble dryer had filled with smoke, less than 60 seconds after she had turned it on.

The quick thinking resident turned the appliance off, closed all the doors and opened the windows. She then evacuated the property with her young son. 

Miss Frost and a neighbour removed the tumble dryer from the house.

A smoke alarm was fitted in the property but did not activate.

Miss Frost called the fire service the following morning. An officer attended at 11.13 am and inspected the machine, leaving at 11.48 am.

Carol Frost said: “I was really shocked by the speed at which it all happened. The tumble dryer filled with smoke just 30 seconds after I’d switched it on. If I hadn’t been in the kitchen at the time I dread to think what might have happened. Within a minute the room was full of smoke and I grabbed my little boy and got out.

“I really want to warn anyone with a tumble dryer on a recall list that leaving them unattended whilst running could result in very serious consequences.

“I’d received a product safety letter from the manufacturer just two days earlier in which it stated that the machine was safe to use as long as it was not left unattended.

“I always empty and clean the filter after each use but my tumble dryer still caught fire.

“My machine certainly wasn’t safe to use. It just isn’t worth the risk.”

Station Manager Ian Read said: “We have in Staffordshire experienced an increase in fires involving tumble dryers. I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of never leaving a tumble dryer switched on unattended.

“The occupier and her son had a very lucky escape. Her actions prevented this incident from escalating into something more serious.

“Closing internal doors whilst evacuating helps to contain a fire and prevent it from spreading.

“We would never advocate tackling a fire yourself however removing the tumble dryer in this instance did prevent further damage to the property.

“Our advice is always to get out, stay out and dial 999.

“An inspection of this lady’s tumble dryer revealed that lint had come into contact with the heating element and had caused a small fire inside the appliance.

“It is important for people to check their tumble dryer thoroughly before using it and remove any bits of fluff in the filter, cleaning it regularly.

“We would urge people to visit http://www.registermyappliance.org.uk/ to register any electrical items purchased within the past 12 years if they have not already done so. This will allow the manufacturer to contact you should a fault occur. If you receive a letter and your appliance matches the product recall, unplug it and don’t use it again until it has been checked or the manufacturer has advised you that it is safe to do so.

ENDS