27 September 2023

Fire service warns on winter dryer danger

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The Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) is warning residents to use caution with clothes dryers as the cold weather sets in this winter.

Community Engagement Officer with the MFS, Angelo Mastripolito said a few routine maintenance checks and actions could significantly reduce the risk of a fire.

“The MFS recommends cleaning the lint filter before every use and, if using anti-static sheets, scrub the filter every month using warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly to remove the waxy build up,” Mr Mastripolito said.

“These quick steps can help avoid a fire tragedy.”

Mr Mastripolito said that, on average, 64 people died each year in preventable house fires across Australia.

He said the MFS recommended following these safety tips to reduce the potential for a fire:

* Never the leave clothes dryer running while no-one is at home;

* Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure the lint filter is cleaned before every load;

* Never use the dryer for drying clothes or rags that have been used to absorb flammable liquids or oils;

* Never turn the dryer off before the cooldown period is over;

* Move the dryer and vacuum lint that has collected behind and underneath the unit at least once a year; and

* Ensure there is adequate room for ventilation around the dryer.

Mr Mastripolito said any clothes dryer repairs must be carried out by a qualified tradesperson in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

He said householders should combine these safety tips with interconnected smoke alarms that were less than 10 years old and a Home Fire Escape Plan.

The MFS Home fire safety factsheet on clothes dryers can be accessed at this PS News link and further information at this link.

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