Mum credits smoke alarms with saving her family following a tumble dryer fire in their home

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The mum of a family from Johnstown who had an extremely lucky escape from a tumble dryer fire in their home in the early hours of this morning is encouraging everyone to ensure they have working smoke alarms in their homes.

Crews from Johnstown and Wrexham were called to the property on Heol Kenyon, Johnstown, Wrexham at 00.12hrs today, Monday 11th October.

Firefighters tackled a fire affecting the outhouse, connected to the main house. The fire is thought to have started in the tumble dryer, and caused damage to the appliance and clothing inside.

The family were asleep upstairs when they were awoken by the sound of the smoke alarm. They were able to get all the family – Mum, Dad and three children outside to safety before calling 999. Oxygen therapy was administered to the father at the scene.

Sam Evans, the mum of the family involved in the incident, said: “ I’m just so thankful that we had working smoke alarms fitted – as we were upstairs asleep in bed, the fire could have spread without us knowing.  We’re proof that smoke alarms really can save lives.”

Tim Owen, Community Safety Manager for Wrexham and Flintshire, added: “I attended this incident and saw first hand the difference smoke alarms can make.

“Without working smoke alarms we could have been dealing with a real tragedy. Smoke alarms are so important - giving you the vital early warning sign which allows you and your family to escape safely from a fire. I’d advise everyone to test them weekly, and look at creating a fire escape plan with your family so that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire.

“The fire is thought to have started in a tumble dryer. Important safety tips for using white goods appliances safely include:

  • Don’t overload plug sockets - the high wattage for a tumble dryer means that it needs its own 13-amp socket. Keep an eye out for any scorching or burn marks, including checking any visible electrical wires. 
  • Don't leave appliances unattended – don't turn the tumble dryer on before you leave the house or go to bed. Tumble dryers contain powerful motors with fast moving parts that can get very hot. 
  • Keep your dryer well ventilated, make sure the vent pipe is kink free and not blocked or crushed in any way.
  • Always clean out the filter after using your tumble dryer. 
  • Always allow each drying programme, including the 'cool down cycle', to complete fully before emptying the machine. If you stop the machine mid cycle, the clothing will still be hot. 
  • Don’t ignore the warning signs – if you can smell burning or clothes feel hotter at the end of the cycle, stop using your appliance and have it checked out by a professional.  

“We offer free safe and well checks for all residents – a member of the Service will give fire safety hints and tips, help you to formulate a fire escape plan and provide new alarms - all free of charge.

“To register for a free safe and well check, please call our Freephone number between 9am and 5pm on 0800 169 1234, email cfs@nwales-fireservice.org.uk or visit the website www.northwalesfire.gov.wales.”

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