Fire safety warning following three tumble dryer fires


West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to take extra care when using their tumble dryers after attending 3 fires involving the appliances in just 10 days. 

Crews from Crawley were called to Rhodes Way in Tilgate to extinguish a tumble dryer fire at midnight on January 3. This was followed by another tumble dryer fire just after midday last Saturday (January 10) at Henty Gardens in Chichester. A third call was received at 9.45am this morning (January 13) reporting a tumble dryer fire at a cottage on West Street in Sompting.

Thankfully, all three fires were extinguished quickly and none of the occupiers were injured. However, fires involving electrical appliances have the potential to develop and pose a serious threat to life and property.

Community Fire Safety Officer for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Jackie Boyle, said:       

"While the weather is cold and wet, it's natural that more people are using their tumble dryers to dry their laundry at the moment. However, people need to remember that these appliances contain powerful motors with fast moving parts that can get very hot. If they are not cleaned or properly maintained, fluff and lint can build up over time and catch fire.

"We'd advise people not to run electrical appliances like tumble dryers or washing machines while they are out or overnight while they are in bed. It is also really important to have a working smoke alarm on each level of your home. A working smoke alarm will give you that vital early warning to a developing fire."

Safety advice

  • Always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for your appliance
  • Regularly clean the fluff or lint filter
  • Don't run your appliance overnight or while you are out
  • Don't overload your appliance 
  • Have your appliance serviced by a qualified engineer
  • Keep your tumble dryer well ventilated ensuring the vent pipe is not blocked or crushed

Further fire safety advice is available at on the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service pages, or by following West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service on Facebook or Twitter.

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Last updated:
6 February 2018

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