GUEST COLUMN: Tips to keep you safe from tumble dryer fires, by Wayne Henson, crew manager for Notts Fire and Rescue

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Tumble dryers, or more specifically fires caused by tumble dryers, have been a national topic of conversation recently, and Nottinghamshire is no exception.

Over the last few weeks, firefighters from stations across the county have attended and dealt with a number of these fires.

In light of such incidents, I would like to offer some basic advice that will hopefully help you to help us reduce the number of tumble dryer fires occurring in the area.

The biggest tip we could give is never leave a tumble dryer running when you go out, or overnight when you’re sleeping.

This means that should a fire occur, you are around and have the best chance of being alerted before it can develop too much.

Another piece of advice that we give is to make sure all the cables are in good working order and plugs aren’t put through extension leads or adaptors.

We also ask that if you make sure that the lint and fluff is emptied out of the filter after each cycle.

It’s also worth making sure that you and your family have got a fire escape plan in place and that you also have working smoke alarms on every level of your home that are tested regularly.

Again, this will give you the best chance of being alerted at the earliest possible opportunity meaning you can get out safely.

It is worth noting that some of this advice doesn’t only apply if you own a tumble dryer.

We attended at least 19 tumble dryer fires in 2015 alone, but in that same period we attended at least 16 washing machine fires.

Ensuring cables are in good working order, following manufacturers’ instructions and not putting plugs through extension leads or adapters applies to washing machine owners in the same way as it does to those who own tumble dryers.

On a final note, I have touched on the importance of smoke alarms and I would just like to finish by reiterating just how important having working fire detection in your home is.

We will all have changed our clocks over the Bank Holiday weekend and as a service we urged people to test their smoke alarms at the same time.

If you did then thank you. If you didn’t, why not have a go now, as you read this?

It really does only take a minute and it could save your life.