Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Make sure your appliances are safe

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is warning people to make sure their kitchen appliances are safe after five fires in the last week were started by using tumble dryers, washing machines and dishwashers.

All of these large kitchen appliances have heating elements, motors and complex moving parts which can easily start a fire if they are not in full working order.

Over the last year 10% of all house fires started with a faulty kitchen appliance, making this one of the single largest causes of house fires in the county. Between December 2012 and December 2013 there were 210 Essex homes which suffered an electrical fire and six people were hospitalised by injuries caused in these fires.
 
A build-up of fluff in washing machines and tumble driers can easily ignite sparking a potentially deadly house fire.

Sub Officer Andre Turner, Home Fire Safety, said: “We all have these appliances in our homes and use them regularly so it is important that we check them regularly to make sure that they are working properly and safely.

“It is important that filters are regularly checked and cleaned to ensure they do not become blocked. A build-up of fluff and lint inside the machine is a major fire risk. Machines should not be overloaded with clothes and the manufacturers’ instructions for use, including the maintenance, should be followed at all times.

“Only use these appliances when you are home and never leave them to run overnight when you are in bed asleep.

“The best advice we can give is to fit and regularly test smoke alarms in your home. They are proven life savers.”

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