Laundry Rooms Revealed As Biggest Cause Of Fires In Care Homes

  • washingmachineOver the last two years 20%* of care home fires started in a laundry room.
  • In 2014, fires were responsible for 7,500 casualties and over 200 fatalities in England**; People aged 65 and over accounted for 41% of these fatalities.***

Towergate, specialist insurance brokers to the care industry is partnering with the British Woodworking Federation to help promote Fire Door Safety Week (26 September – 2 October) which this year focuses on homes with multiple occupation.

Towergate claims data showed that 20% of care home fires started in laundry rooms, so the company has shared fire safety tips specific to laundry rooms in care homes.

Helen Bernabe from Towergate’s care division, said:

“At Towergate, we want to ensure our customers are armed with as much information as possible to keep them and their residents safe and after analysing our claims data and establishing the main cause of fires we wanted to raise awareness of the preventative measures which can be taken.

”We urge managers to ensure all staff are well versed in fire precautions as many laundry room fires could be avoided through basic maintenance of machinery.”

This year, the British Woodworking Federation’s Fire Door Safety Week (26 September – 2 October) focused on houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). As specialist insurance brokers to the care industry, we have listed fire safety tips specifically around laundry rooms in care homes.

Fire Safety Tips for Laundry Rooms****


  • Clean filters, remove fluff, lint and debris from dryers and keep them maintained in accordance with manufacturers guidelines
  • Allow laundry to complete the cooling cycle in the tumble dryer
  • Dry tea towels on a washing line if possible, rather than in a tumble dryer
  • Shake out laundry to ventilate and allow laundered items to cool
  • Provide employee training to highlight laundry-related fire risks
  • Provide fire protection equipment within the laundry area


  • Leave laundry in a dryer overnight
  • Place warm, damp laundry in polythene bags, combustible containers or baskets or in poorly ventilated areas
  • Remove laundry from your tumble dryer before completing the cooling cycle

Iain McIlwee, Chief Executive, British Woodworking Foundation, added:

“Given the high number of care home fires throughout the UK, we’re pleased to see our partners, Towergate, sharing information on how care homes can reduce the risks of a fire breaking out.”

“Fire Door Safety Week is something that all homes and businesses throughout the UK need to be aware of as fire doors and other simple precautions could save so many lives each year.”


COTS 2024