West Yorkshire firefighters' tumble dryer fire warning amid cost of living crisis

A tumble dryer was the cause of fire at this house in Mirfield Credit: West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue

Firefighters have warned people not to use tumble dryers overnight to save money after a number of incidents caused by appliances overheating.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said that, while leaving electrical products on at night can be cheaper, it can also be dangerous.

It follows a number of incidents in the brigade area involving tumble dryers.

On Sunday, 13 November, emergency crews were called to a house in Normanton, Wakefield, where a fire had taken hold. Two people needed treatment for smoke inhalation.

Two other fires in the preceding weeks started under similar circumstances.

According to the fire service, half of all accidental house fires are caused by electricity, and nine out of 10 electrical fires are caused by electrical products.

Fire prevention manager Sarah Laidlow-Moore said: "We know that people are looking at ways to save money – and with electricity often costing less at night it can be tempting to wait until bedtime to put appliances such as tumble dryers on.

"However, people need to be aware of the dangers of leaving electrical products unattended – especially at night when they are asleep."

The warning follows a similar message from firefighters in South Yorkshire after a man suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from a makeshift fire started in a bucket.

How likely is a tumble dryer to catch fire?

According to national figures from Electrical Safety First, microwaves are the electrical product which cause the most fires. There were almost 5,000 incidents between 2014 and 2019.

Tumble dryers (2,661 incidents) were the second most risky appliance, followed by washing machines (2,589), dishwashers (1,306) and fridge freezers (1,065).

Ms Laidlow-Moore said: "Overloading sockets, using the wrong chargers and not checking the wiring on electrical products can all cause fires.

"We know it’s tempting to save money by buying items online instead of purchasing the branded equivalent, but it can often be a false economy as they can often increase the risk of fire.

"With winter arriving there are also electric blankets to be mindful of – it’s important that these are checked before use."

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