The daily challenge of getting the washing dry throughout the winter months can leave your family exposed to the risk of fire, as a Maidstone mother discovered this afternoon (27 January 2015).
A Lincoln Road resident was preparing lunch in her kitchen at 12.48pm when she noticed smoke coming out of the tumble dryer. She pulled the machine out to investigate and was confronted with flames and thick smoke as the fire was taking hold.
She immediately left the building with her daughter and raised the alarm.
Two fire engines were sent to the scene, the first arriving within six minutes of receiving the call. Crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the smoke-logged building and extinguished the blaze in the dryer.
It is believed that the dryer, which was in use at the time, may have developed a fault. It also appears that there was a large build up of fluff and debris in the filter of the dryer, which may have caused it to overheat.
Firefighters cleared smoke from the house and offered safety advice to the woman and residents in the surrounding area.
Watch Manager Mark Brown said: “The dryer was well alight when we arrived and it generated lots of smoke, and the occupants luckily escaped injury by getting out of the building as soon as they discovered the fire.
Mark added: “Tumble dryers tend to be used a lot more during the winter months, but as this incident shows, faults can develop in domestic appliances without prior warning, so we strongly advise that they are not left running while you are out, or put on overnight. We also advise that you make it part of your routine to clean out the filter every time you use your dryer to help prevent a fire.
“Please ensure you have a working smoke alarm fitting on each floor of your home to provide early warning if the unexpected happens.”