October 4-10, 2015 marks Fire Prevention Week.  While we can’t prevent all fires from occurring, we all need to take precautions and be aware of fire threats in and around our home and workplace.  Today’s blog details the dangers of Clothes Dryer fires and ways we can try and prevent them from occurring.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org), clothes dryers and washing machines caused an estimated 16,800 reported U.S. home structure fires in 2010. While this figure accounted for only 5% of all reported structure fires, these fires caused:

  • 51 deaths
  • 380 injuries
  • $236 million in direct property damage

While not every fire is avoidable, we need to do everything possible to prevent fires when we can. Here are some safety tips that we can all do at home to try and prevent clothes dryer fires.

  • Accumulated dust and lint can be a fire hazard, so clean the dryer’s lint filter before and after each use
  • Remove any accumulated lint around the drum
  • Do not operate the dryer without a lint filter
  • Clean lint out of the vent pipe once a year–note:  homes with centrally located laundry areas usually have longer vents; longer vents are more susceptible to fires
  • Do not leave a dryer running if you leave home
  • Keep the area around the dryer clear of combustibles like boxes and clothing
  • Avoid overloading a washing machine or dryer
  • Have a professional check the dryer if there are any doubts that it is running properly

It is probably a good idea to have your dryer serviced if you notice that the drying time for a regular load of laundry takes more than 35 to 40 minutes; if you smell a musty odor in your laundry after the drying cycle has finished; or you notice excessive heat in the laundry area while your clothes dryer is running.

If you live in Lillington, Raleigh or the surrounding areas and experience fire damage as a result of your clothes dryer, contact PHC Restoration and let us help restore your home.