Safety With Household Dryer Machines

In 2006, an estimated 17,700 reported U.S. non-confined or confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines (including combination washer/dryers) resulted in an estimated: 15 civilian deaths, 360 civilian injuries and $194 million in direct property damage.

In 2018, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.  –USFA.FEMA.gov

Does this surprise you? Ask yourself when the last time you had your dryer machine serviced. Failure to have your dryer serviced can lead to unanticipated fires, accidents, and emergencies. Read on to lear more and read more statistics.


 Leading Items First Ignited in Non-Confined Fires Involving Clothes Washer or Clothes Dryer, 2003-2006

Dryer Fires:

  • Clothing  –  30%
  • Dust, Fiber, or Lint  -27%
  • Unclassified soft goods or clothing  –  10%

Washers Fires:

  • Wire or cable insulation  –  29%
  • Appliance housing or casing  –  21%
  • Drive or other belt  -18%

  •  Most (81%) non-confined home structure fires involving washers or dryers began in a laundry room or area.
  • Most of these home fires involve clothes dryers (92% in 2003-2006).
  • The risk of fire is slightly higher for gas-fueled clothes dryers than for electric-powered clothes dryers.
  • The leading cause (29% of fires) of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean.

 Nine Safety Tips You Can Follow For Safety in the Home

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
  • Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
  • Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
  • Follow the manufacturers operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.

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