Posting in IoT for lack of a better section.. and solutions or monitoring of home appliances may use IoT.
I was quite surprised to see this statistic : (
It seems a huge number. Apparently this is mainly due to washing machines and tumble dryers. The following article discusses what causes the fires for tumble dryers, and how to reduce the risk of it:
I've never had a tumble dryer (I use a clothes line if it isn't raining) so I can't be sure, but reading through that article, it seems the procedure to reduce the risk is really onerous. The article suggests vacuuming around the dryer and fluff can accumulate at the rear of the dryer. I can't imagine many people moving a dryer to vacuum behind it frequently, because of the weight of it, and presumably some are integrated (bolted) into position. This video only discusses how to clean fluff from the front filter, which looks easy enough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQruzikHdQI but it doesn't address the other areas that may need to be regularly inspected and cleaned.
The article also discusses that tumble dryers should not be operated at night when people are asleep, or when no one is at home. To me, that seems like the lowest-hanging technical workaround until tumble dryers can be made safer; retro-fitting them for free, with a lockout system that will prevent operation unless light and motion (i.e. occupancy with activity) can be sensed - perhaps by Bluetooth. If either light or motion is not sensed for longer than (say) ten minutes then the dryer could be powered down. A fire alarm should also be fitted for free if one is not already fitted. Anything less seems unreasonable, considering tumble dryer manufacturers must know their machines pose such a high risk.
How do other people manage the risk? I would trust myself not to use a tumble dryer in the evening, but what if someone fell asleep on the sofa during the daytime and no-one else was at home. Or teenagers. Can they really be trusted to avoid using a tumble dryer at night, and adhering to the no house-parties rules : ) when parents are traveling?
And on another note.. it will be likely country-specific, but it would be good to hear advice on fitting fire alarms in locations where washing machines and tumble dryers will be fitted - e.g. what type of alarm, what distance is recommended, etc, from those who are experienced in this area. It would be valuable information to a lot of people.