Following several fires, Station Manager Simon Foster of West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has emphasised the need for care when emptying tumble dryers.

“Folding and stacking hot clothing or linen straight from the tumble dryer means the heat cannot escape. In some instances the heat can create temperatures that are hot enough to ignite a fire.

“We urge everyone, whether you run a business or are at home using a domestic tumble dryer, to always use the cooling cycle on your machine or to let the clothes and linen air before folding and putting them away. This allows the heat to disperse and the risk of fire diminishes.”

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service advice:

• Make sure that washing temperatures and detergents are appropriate for the best removal of oil based contaminants
• Let laundry complete its cooling cycle in the tumble dryer
• Shake out laundry to ventilate before folding or placing garments on hangers
• Thoroughly clean tumble dryers on a regular basis

• Place warm laundry in polythene bags, plastic containers or in poorly ventilated areas
• Leave freshly laundered fabrics stacked overnight
• Forget to test your smoke alarm – only working smoke alarms give an early warning to a developing fire.