Family left Homeless after Tumbling Tea Towels. What are the alternatives?

We have written before about the problems with faulty tumble dryers, and there are incidences almost daily as to a faulty tumble dryer catching fire. But in London, a family was left homeless, all because of their tumble dryer and it wasn’t even faulty. What happened? After tumbling a pile of tea towels at a very high temperature, the householder opened the appliance door but found the contents too hot too handle, so she left the door open for the towels to cool. Trouble is, opening the door let in a huge waft of oxygen and this, coupled with the hot, dry cotton, created a spark. And a house fire only needs one spark, and this is what happened. A tumble dryer, even when not faulty can be dangerous.

So, what are the alternatives for safe drying of clothes without a tumble dryer, especially in winter. It is important to remember four rules for drying fabrics: agitation, heat, humidity and time. Starting with agitation, give your fabrics an extra spin in the washing machine, this will remove more moisture, or alternatively roll delicates in a towel, which should absorb moisture. Heat: setting up a drying rack with plenty of air to circulate near a heat source (not on it) will help the moisture evaporate and bring about drying. Humidity release: the moisture has got to go somewhere, and you don’t want your stuff smelling damp or excess moisture affecting your breathing so make sure wherever you dry your clothes they are not in bedrooms or living rooms, make sure there is plenty of air to circulate around the damp fabrics. Finally, drying clothes, sheets and towels outside on a sunny and windy day, even if it is winter will provide agitation, humidity and time, so its worth a try, especially on a breezy day a lot of washing can get ready for airing. Or, get everyone to use their garments, sheets and towels just a little bit longer before chucking in the laundry basket – difficult maybe!

For all your fire safety needs including fire risk assessments, installation and maintenance of fire alarms, smoke alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets and fire safety training for your staff contact us at Bath & West Fire & Safety.

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