Tumble dryer fires in laundry rooms

Offshore Information Sheet No. 3/2009



This sheet provides guidance on the actions that should be taken to reduce the risk of tumble dryer fires.


Although a relatively safe appliance to use, the main danger from tumble dryers is fire. Three such incidents have been reported to HSE since 2005. The most recent appears to have resulted from an insufficient 'cooling cycle' and involved a number of cloths (tea towels and catering cloths), which may have been contaminated with combustible substances such as fats, oils or grease.

A number of factors, either in isolation or in combination, may lead to tumble dryer fires. These include:

Actions required

It is essential that owners and operators of offshore installations ensure that appropriate systems are in place for the maintenance, inspection and use of tumble dryers in laundry rooms. Operators, with guidance from the equipment suppliers, should:

This information sheet contains notes on good practice which are not compulsory but which you may find helpful in considering what you need to do

Updated 2021-02-12