Appliance Fire Hazard

Appliance Fire Hazard

While cooking remains the leading cause of house fires, laundry room fires account for an average of 15,000 fires each year in the United States according to the National Fire Protection Association. This number may not seem very high until you consider that laundry room fires account for an average 16 civilian deaths each year, 433 civilian injuries and $201 million in structural damage every year in one and two-family homes. This does not include figures from commercial laundries dry-cleaners or multi-housing units.

Why can the laundry room be such a potential fire hazard? The combination of electricity, heat, water and combustible materials can lead to disaster if not handled correctly.

What Causes A Laundry Room Fire to Ignite?Appliance Fire Hazard

Clothing in dryer – 30 percent

Washer wire or cable insulation – 29 percent

Dust, fiber or lint – 27 percent

Appliance housing – 21 percent

Appliance drive or belt – 18 percent

Soft Goods left in laundry room – 10 percent

Clothes dryers are involved in 92 percent of all laundry room fires with the leading cause of the fires being a failure to clean the appliances. The risk of fire is slightly higher for gas-fueled dryers than for electric clothes dryers.

Fire Safety Tips

Clean washer and dryer lint filters after every use.

Install the proper dryer hose vent and outdoor vent and clean them regularly.

Be sure that the washer and dryer are plugged into suitable electric outlets.

Do not leave a dryer running if you leave home, because if it malfunctions no one will be there to avert possible disaster.

Do not leave dried clothes in the dryer or in a large pile. If the pile is large enough, and if the goods have certain physical properties, then it is possible that heat will build up inside the pile faster than heat is lost to the surrounding air causing a fire.

For the sake of your family and your home, keep your washer and dryer well-maintained and take the time to clean your machines and laundry room.

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