Tumble dryer warning after a recent fire

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Fire Investigation Officers in West Sussex are warning residents and businesses about the dangers of overheating materials after a recent fire.

On Saturday (April 21st), four fire engines were sent to tackle a blaze at a public house in London Road, Balcombe. An investigation revealed that tea towels had been left in a tumble dryer for a considerable amount of time, resulting in the materials overheating and causing a fire.

Subsequently, we are urging people to remain alert and supervise electrical appliances when in use.

Last August, a similar incident occurred at a café in Littlehampton Marina where the cause was attributed to spontaneous combustion. An investigation in to the fire deemed that flammable oil residue had not been washed out of towels properly. The fire broke out after the towels had been tumble dried and a folded into piles, enabling them to spontaneously combust into flames as the heat could not escape.

Significant damage to each business was sustained in both of these incidents.

Fire Investigation Officer and Station Manager, Andrew Parsons, said: “Registering electrical appliances is a great way to ensure that the products in your household are safe to use. Once an appliance is registered, you will be alerted to any safety repairs or product recalls.

“Over half of all accidental house fires are caused by electricity. Therefore we recommend that appliances such as chargers and tumble dryers are never left plugged in or unattended.”

Businesses can access further advice by visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire, calling 0330 0222 3333 or following @WSFRSFireSafety on Twitter.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is at the heart of West Sussex County Council’s Communities and Public Protection Directorate, working to support communities to become safer, stronger and more resilient through a combination of prevention, protection and response activities.

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