Clothes dryers cause on average 54 fires per year according to Fire and Emergency NZ figures.The brigade urged caution because static electricity and build-up of heat in the dryer can cause any dust, lint or chemical residue on clothes to catch fire. Dust can also build up in the back of the machine over time, something that should be checked and cleaned by a service person as taking the back cover off can void warranties and potentially expose electrical risk.
- forgetting to clean the lint out of your dryer, make sure you check filters and lint regularly
- Dryers should not be left running when people left their house, or go to sleep
For dryers, along with cleaning the lint trap after every use, it recommends ensuring the dryer goes through the full cycle, including cool down, before being opened, and making sure there is proper ventilation and air space around the machine
CHECKLIST FROM FIRE EMERGENCY NZ
Want to make sure your home is fire safe? Here's a quick and easy checklist you can use to spot any risks or hazards that might cause a fire.
Walk through your house and check off each point as you go. If a point doesn't apply to you (for example, if you don't have a fireplace), give it a tick.
This checklist is for people who own a house or apartment in the city or suburbs.
If you're renting, check out our renter's home fire safety checklist.
If you live rurally, check out our rural home fire safety checklist.
The stovetop is clean and free of any spilled fats or burnt foods.
The range-hood filters have been cleaned recently.
There's a fire extinguisher near the kitchen and I know how to use it.
Living room and bedrooms
There are smoke alarms installed in every bedroom, living area and hallway in the house — ideally, long-life photoelectric ones.
Matches, lighters or other fire starting tools are stored out of reach of children.
Power-points or multi-boards are not overloaded with appliances that use a lot of power, like heaters.
Lights are fitted with the correct bulb size and rating (in watts). • Electric blankets are in good condition, and not more than 5 years old.
There's a torch near every bed (in case of emergencies).
The fireplace has a screen with a proper fireguard, and the chimney has been checked and/or swept in the last year.
BBQ fittings are tight and secure, and there's at least 1 metre of clear space around the BBQ. Use the soap bubble test to make sure there are no leaks.
Flammable liquids in sheds or garages are stored in appropriate containers.
There's no lint built up in the clothes dryer filter (you should check this after every use).
The clothes dryer has been checked recently by a professional to ensure there's no dust built up in the back (don't open up the dryer yourself, as this will breach the warranty).
There's plenty of ventilation and air space around the clothes dryer.
Check out, https://fireandemergency.nz/
You will find work place action plans, home evacuation plans, kids fun stuff etc. Better to have a plan and not need it, than need a plan and not have it.