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Fire service warns of risk of oil residues in tumble dryers

The warning comes after several recent incidents where clothing and towels from spas and restaurants Credit: PA

Cambridgeshire Fire Service are urging people to remove oil residues from clothing before being placed into tumble dryers.

The warning comes after towels were placed in an industrial dryer at a local business and the heat caused the oils to combust, setting fire to the materials and causing a fire inside the drum of the dryer.

The service has made contact with pubs and restaurants across the county to highlight the potential dangers.

The fire service has issued the following safety tips;

Items such as towels that have been used in the beauty and spa industry can become contaminated with treatment oils. Washing them at low temperatures means these substances are not always completely removed. If the towels are then placed in a tumble dryer at high temperatures, they can overheat and catch fire.

Whilst you have to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations when washing clothes and towels, it is important that they are washed at a temperature that is high enough to remove the oils from them before placing them into a tumble dryer.

– Station Commander Giles Grainger, Fire Protection Manager
  • Ensure wash temperatures and detergents are suitable for the optimum removal of oil-based contaminants
  • Allow laundry to complete the cooling cycle in the tumble dryer, shaking out laundry to ventilate before folding
  • Ensure stack or pile is well ventilated
  • Make sure you have a smoke alarm on each floor of your premises and that it is test regularly.
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