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 between 2010-2014. In fact, fire departments respond to an average of 15,000 homes per year due to 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 the 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 the dryer: some laundry room fires are caused by materials igniting that are on or near the dryer, including cardboard boxes and other flammable materials.
9 Laundry Room Fire Safety Tips
Follow our laundry room safety tips to prevent dangerous fires that lead to costly damage and safety risks to your family.
- Clean out the lint filter in your dryer each time you complete a load of laundry
- Remove the lint filter each month and clean it with warm water and soap to prevent small fibers from igniting
- Complete routine maintenance check-ups on your washer and dryer to ensure the heat temperature gauge is working properly and no wires are frayed
- Remove grease or oil in your clothes by hand before putting them in your washer or dryer.
- Check to ensure your washer and dryer are plugged into the correct type of electrical outlet. It requires at least a 240v outlet. If you are unsure, consult a professional.
- Never leave the dryer running unattended.
- Remove all loose items that are near your washer and dryer.
- Do not overload the dryer – clothes need the circulation of hot air, and when the dryer is stuffed, the air cannot circulate as much as it needs to in order to dry your clothes.
- Practice common safety fire tips. Ensure your smoke detectors are working and that you have a fire extinguisher nearby.
In the unfortunate scenario that your home and family suffer a laundry room fire, immediately contact Mr. Restore. We understand that a fire is devastating; we will work quickly and efficiently to build and restore your home back to normal. With over 50 years of experience dealing with fire and smoke damage in Dallas and surrounding areas, our professional technicians at Mr. Restore will walk you through the entire process.