An Otford family had a lucky escape overnight, after their tumble-dryer caught fire. Thanks to their working smoke alarms, they were woken up with enough time to escape safely.
The quick thinking actions of the home owner meant the damage to their home was kept to a minimum.
Sevenoaks fire crews were alerted just after 1am on Saturday 18 February. Watch Manager, Danny Barrett said: “When we arrived at the Orchard Road property the fire was smouldering in the fluff that had built up in the dryer. The kitchen was very smoke logged, so the house smelt of smoke. But things could have been a lot worse had it not been for the excellent and robust fire safety measures in place throughout the home.”
The family had several working smoke alarms installed throughout the property, including in the hallway, on the stairs to the landing and on the ceiling of the landing; all of them regularly tested.
Danny added: “The doors throughout the property were also closed, which meant in the event of a fire; big or small, it would be contained and the damage kept to a minimum.”
Father of three young children, Glen Miles said: “We were woken to the sound of the alarms, so I rushed downstairs and found smoke coming from the tumble-dryer. I immediately isolated the electrics and evacuated everyone from the house, then called 999. We were out of the house within a minute.
Danny said: “Their fire escape plan was followed superbly. The actions of Mr and Mrs Miles’ family were a good example of how, by having safety measures and an escape plan in place, lives can be saved.
“However we would never recommend running electrical appliances overnight or when you leave the property. Electrical faults can and do happen, or in this case; the build up of fluff can lead to a fire. Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is urging people to think about altering bedtime routines if it includes turning on dishwashers, washing machines or tumble-dryers; you’ve got to ask yourself – is it worth it?”
Mr Miles finished by saying: “We’ll certainly not be leaving any kitchen appliances on overnight or when we leave the house. It’s a reminder that we can take this stuff for granted. Our lucky escape will hopefully be a warning to others to think twice in future.
"You can rebuild homes, but you can’t rebuild lives.”
For more home safety advice or to check to see if you’re eligible for a FREE Safe and Well Visit by KFRS, please call 0800 923 7000