We all like wearing clean clothes but don’t always enjoy doing endless loads of laundry. Sometimes, we’re in a rush and toss them in the dryer quickly while we’re juggling a million other projects. In our haste, we may forget to clean out the lint filter–and pay a high price.
Home Fires Involving Clothes Dryers or Washing Machines
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical problems are one of the leading causes of home fires. Problems with various appliances, including washing machines and dryers, can result in disastrous situations. The NFPA indicates that in 2010, approximately 16,800 reported U.S. non-confined or confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines (including combination appliances) resulted in:
- 51 civilian deaths
- 380 civilian injuries
- $236 million in direct property damage
Additional NFPA Facts and Figures
How can machines intended to wash and dry our clothes have the power to cause such havoc? Without a doubt, the appliances that we generally think of as purely functional can produce alarming results. Here is some additional information from the NFPA:
- Clothes dryers were involved in 92% of the fires, washing machines in 4% and washer and dryer combinations led to 4%.
- The failure to clean these appliances was a top fire factor (32%), and an unclassified mechanical failure or malfunction (22%) was another source of trouble.
- Gas-fueled clothes dryers and electric-powered clothes dryers are considered of equal concern regarding potential fires.
NFPA Safety Tips
Fortunately, you can take some precautionary steps to prevent these home fires. Here are some safety tips from the NFPA:
- Have a professional install and service your dryer.
- Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
- Take the time to clean the lint filter before or after every load of laundry.
- Remove lint that is underneath the filter or wadded around the drum.
- Do not use rigid or flexible metal venting material to ensure correct airflow and drying time.
You can avoid the risk of a dryer-related fire if you also do the following:
- Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not closed off in any way, and the outdoor vent flap opens when you are using the dryer. Clean lint out of the vent pipe or hire a dryer lint removal service, which will also help your clothes dry properly within the designated time.
- Keep dryers working properly. Professionals should inspect gas dryers to check that the gas line and connection are in the correct place and not leaking.
- Use the right plug and outlet to be certain that the machine is working safely.
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions, and don’t place too many clothes in your dryer.
- Turn the dryer off if you go out or when you go to sleep.
Contact Us for Fire Damage Restoration Bentonville AR
The experts at NWA Restore It, Inc. recommend that you schedule an appointment with our experienced technicians for dryer duct cleaning at least twice a year. We can remove any accumulated dust and lint to help you save money on your energy bill and minimize fire hazards. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, contact us for fire damage restoration Bentonville AR.