Tumble dryers spark dozens of fires in Shropshire

Tumble dryers have sparked dozens of fires across Shropshire over the past eight years, new figures show.

Crews from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service have been called out to 82 blazes involving tumble dryers since 2009/10.

Nobody died as a result of the fires but there were 22 casualties, according to new figures released by the authority.

Across the West Midlands, Staffordshire, and Shropshire, firefighters dealt with 616 tumble dryer blazes and 89 people were injured in some way as a result.

Bosses at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service say there are steps people can take in order to reduce the risk of a fire.

The fire authority is urging people not to overload their tumble dryers, not to leave them switched on when unsupervised and unplug appliances if nobody is going to be home for more than a day.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Malcolm Stevenson added: “Any appliance that has electricity running through it is capable of causing a fire if it malfunctions or is used incorrectly.

“The Grenfell Tower tragedy is a vivid illustration of that.”

The devastating Grenfell Tower fire, which happened on June 14, started in a faulty Hotpoint fridge-freezer and gutted the high-rise block, killing scores of people.

More than 160 fire engines were dispatched to the scenes of the 82 blazes that were dealt with by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Crews spent a combined total of 46 hours and 37 minutes at the incidents.

Hotpoint, Whirlpool, Indesit, Beko and White Knight were some of the makes involved in the blazes.

Tumble dryer fires across Shropshire accounted for seven call-outs in 2016/17, 15 in 2015/16 and 16 in 2014/15.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service responded to six incidents in 2013/14, 10 in 2012/13, nine in 2011/12, eight in 2010/11 and 11 in 2009/10.

A tumble dryer caused a fire at the Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury in February.

Last year, firefighters urged people to clean their tumble dryer filters after a blaze at a house in Newtown, Market Drayton.

Crews used breathing apparatus to enter the kitchen of the home, which had become heavily smoke-logged, and said the fire was caused by a tumble dryer overheating.

It caused heavy damage to the kitchen.

And in May 2015, six people suffered smoke inhalation at a hotel after a tumble dryer caught fire.

Moreton Park Hotel, at Gledrid, Chirk, was evacuated after the fire broke out on the first floor.

People are also being urged to register their appliances to ensure they don’t miss product recalls and warnings.

Visit registermyappliance.org.uk