Residents warned about off-peak energy tariff fire safety risks

Residents across the North East are being urged not to put appliances on over night after firefighters prevented disaster when a tumble dryer caught fire.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have made the plea after responding to a house fire just before midnight on Wednesday evening.

The service’s Fire Control received the call about a fire at the residential house in the Bensham area of Gateshead.

Two crews from Gateshead Community Fire Station were deployed and arrived at the property on Rectory Road in just two minutes.

There they found a tumble dryer on fire in a utility room and were quickly able to extinguish it before it spread to the rest of the property.

Fire chiefs have today praised the occupants for closing the doors to the utility room – preventing the dangerous fire from spreading.

But they have also urged residents not to put electric appliances on overnight in the light of reduced off-peak tariffs being advertised by energy suppliers.

Prevention and Education Manager Karen Soady, of TWFRS, said: “This was a fantastic response by our crews and our Fire Control which helped prevent disaster.

“But lots of credit also has to go to the occupiers who had closed their internal doors and that helped slow the spread of the fire.

“We will always be there to respond when you need us but we want to prevent these incidents from happening in the first place.

“The cost of living crisis is hitting us hard and we understand people are looking at heating alternatives or other ways to save money.

“There has been some media coverage around off-peak energy tariffs that can see you save money if you put on your appliances at a certain time.

“But we are urging you not to take this as an opportunity to run appliances like tumble dryers overnight while you sleep – this is a disaster waiting to happen.

“If you were asleep when an appliance did catch fire, and your smoke alarm didn’t activate, then it could be fatal and so please don’t put yourself in danger.”

Thankfully nobody was injured in the fire on Rectory Drive and there was minimal damage to the rest of the property.

TWFRS are issuing the warning following the changing of the clocks that have resulted in darker winter nights.

For further advice around fire safety then visit the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service website at