Laundry equipment and in particular clothes dryers, remain one of the most preventable causes for house fires and their related injuries and deaths in this country. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, nearly 17,000 house fires reported in 2010 were attributed to clothes dryers and washing machines. 51 people died as a result from laundry room fires which caused 236 million dollars in property damage. Numbers like this are not uncommon for any year in the U.S., yet many people are unaware of the hazards or the simple steps which can prevent them.
Possible Fire Hazards:
Visible Lint buildup in the dryer’s lint trap
Unseen Lint buildup inside the dryer, from lint which gets past the trap
Unseen Lint which collects inside the dryer hose
Dryer hoses which are crushed or kinked by cramped dryer-to-wall spaces
Outside vents blocked with lint buildup, rodent nests, bird’s nests, objects or materials placed too close to the vents, and other obstructions
Flammable Items inside laundry appliances, including plastic or rubber items like bath mats, diaper pants, clothing items padded with foam rubber, or items with flammable chemicals like rags soaked with oil or gasoline
Friction from slipping power belts caused by worn belts or excessive loads
Flammable materials or debris allowed under or too close to laundry appliances.
Always clean out the lint trap between every dryer load
Keep the areas under and behind your washer and dryer clean and uncluttered
Keep the area near the outside dryer vent clear of stored materials or objects which could impede or block the dryer’s exhaust
Remove the outside dryer vent cover on a regular basis and inspect the space behind it for obvious debris. However, obstructions in these wall spaces are not always visible. So, you should have a professional check and clean these on a regular basis.
Have a professional inspect the dryer and clean out any invisible lint buildup on a regular basis.
Have a professional clear the dryer hose of lint on a regular basis
Dryers which don’t dry clothes normally, requiring excessive amounts of drying time
Smoke coming from the washer or dryer or clothes which smell like smoke
If you’re unsure of the safety of your washer or dryer, never leave the house or go to bed after starting a load of clothes.
Appliance Master Service
If you would like us to inspect your laundry room appliances for fire hazards, please feel free to call us at 1(214) 280-8966 or fill out and send our contact form with a description of your concerns.