01 March 2011

Dishwasher Fire

Here’s a timely reminder about the inherent danger of leaving your household appliances going overnight.

A family in Sutton, London, had to be rescued by firefighters in the early hours of this morning (Monday 28th) after their dishwasher burst into flames. The fire service was alerted at 4.30am, when it was discovered that the family were trapped on the first floor of their home by heavy smoke.

Every member of the family, including two young children, needed to be carried down to safety before firefighters could extinguish the blaze, which badly damaged the kitchen. They were then treated in hospital for smoke inhalation.

People tend to think dishwasher fires are impossible, as water is involved with the machine, but actually it can easily happen. Just three before the Sutton fire, a similar blaze in Bromley resulted in the emergency evacuation of a stable of horses, after a dishwasher fire in a flat next to their stables, again in the early hours of the morning.

Although it’s very tempting, you should never leave a dishwasher, tumble drier or washing machine on overnight, or during the day when there is no one in the home. Make sure you have a smoke alarm fitted AND test it regularly. If you even suspect a fault from an appliance, turn it off and call an engineer.

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