According to the National Fire Protection Association, laundry room fires are a common cause of fires across the nation, resulting in over $230 million dollars worth of property damage in between 2010-2014. In fact, fire departments respond to an average of 15,000 homes per year due to a faulty washing machines and clothes dryers. In order to keep your family and home safe, it is vital that you practice appropriate safety precautions in the laundry room. In order to prevent laundry room fires in your home, you should understand the leading causes of washer and dryer malfunctions and how to avoid them. The combination of water, electricity, heat, natural gas and combustible materials can lead to a potentially dangerous fire hazard each time you do a load of laundry. A laundry room fire can be catastrophic, leading to thousands of dollars in fire damage. However, simple maintenance and routine checkups can make your laundry room safer. Leading Causes of Laundry Room Fires Laundry room fires have a number of causes. The NFPA researched and reported the following leading causes:
- Failure to appropriately clean appliances: Dust, fibers and lint are highly flammable and can combust next to the heat of dryer.
- Equipment failure and faulty wires: Frayed electrical wires and improper insulation cause 40% of all laundry room fires.
- Materials and clothes in dryer ignite: certain materials are more prone to causing a fire when exposed to high heat, including softer materials (cotton) and clothes that have been exposed to grease and cooking oils.
- Outside materials close to dryer: some laundry room fires are caused by materials igniting that are on or near the dryer, including cardboard boxes and other flammable materials.