Energy type: 
Event summary: 
Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) notified WorkSafe Energy Safety of a garage fire involving a clothes dryer.
Accident ID: 
Accident date: 
31 December 2017
Clothes dryer
Accident type: 
No injury
Property damage level: 
Extended to the room and structure containing the equipment.
Outcome of investigation: 

The old clothes dryer that was deemed responsible for the fire, did not contain any clothes as these were reportedly removed prior to the fire occurring, following the completion of the last drying operation.

The attending fire officer could not identify the make and model of the dryer from the remains following the fire, but determined from the visible burn pattern that the clothes dryer was the most likely cause. Although the dryer was not in operation at the time of the fire, an internal electrical fault within the dryer may have been the cause, as it was still connected and switched on at the socket-outlet.

Dryer condition prior to the fire is a possible issue especially as the unidentified clothes dryer was described as being old and being used in a holiday-let, that may not have been adequately maintained.

Another and more probable cause is lint build-up in the lint filter. Lint is required to be removed after each use of the dryer and lint build-up is a known cause of tumble dryer fires and can occur after the drying has been completed and clothes removed. It could not be determined when the lint filters had last been cleaned and whether the short-term holiday tenants renting the property were aware of the need to clean lint filters, after each use.

WorkSafe Energy Safety therefore could not reliably determine that the fire cause was electrical in origin or not.