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Tuesday 19 October 2010 8.36am
A couple of years ago I picked up a leaflet from the Essex Fire Service offering a free household safety check. I thought, why not? An appointment was arranged and the fire officer had a good look round the house and fitted, for free, two, state-of-the-art smoke alarms to replace the existing ones. He then made some reccomendations and left me a leaflet on how to avoid a fire in the home. Before he left he asked if I ever went out of the house or up to bed when the washing machine and/or tumble drier are running. I said, "Yes, regularly." He then gave me some frightening statistics, (the exact figures I can't recall,)about the great percentage of house fires that are caused by w/m and t/d's shorting out and catching fire. It's a fool who doesn't heed such advice from a man of his experience and profession, so the habit stopped with immediate effect..... Until yesterday. My wife ran both appliances when she first got up, thinking they would complete their cycle before she left for work, but they didn't. When I got back from the station after dropping her off I found that the elcectricity had tripped out and the appliances had stopped working. I reset the trip, but they still didn't work. I pulled the w/m out from under the kitchen unit and found that the four-gang extention lead had burnt out and the plug was partially melted. My blood ran cold when I thought what could have happened, with one of my daughters, who had the day off work, still upstairs asleep.
We are a very lucky family.
Please learn from our mistake.

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