Is your Clothes Dryer a fire hazard?

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Dryers & washing machines

Dryers and washing machines were involved in one out of every 23 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments in 2003-2006.

Facts and figures

  • Between 2010-14, an estimated 15,900 reported U.S. non-confined or confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines resulted in 13 civilian deaths, 440 civilian injuries and $238 million in direct property damage.
  • Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires
  • The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean (29%), followed by unclassified mechanical failure or malfunction (24%). Thirteen percent were caused by some type of electrical failure or short circuit.

Source: NFPA: https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Fact-sheets/WasherDryerFactSheet.pdf

Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
Do not operate the dryer without a lint filter.
Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.

Electrical Safety in the Home… Don’t get fried!

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 51,800 reported home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction in 2007. These fires resulted in 451 civilian deaths, 1,641 civilian injuries and $1.2 billion in direct property damage.

Facts & Figures

  • Forty-one percent of home electrical failure fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment in 2003-2007.
  • In 2003-2007, 53% of electrical failure home fires involved other known type of equipment. The leading other known type of equipment involved in home electrical failure fires are range, washer or dryer, and fans.
  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 25,200 reported U.S. non-confined home structure fires involving electrical distribution or lighting equipment in 2007. These fires resulted in 270 civilian fire deaths, 1,050 civilian fire injuries, and $663 million in direct property damage.
  • Some type of electrical failure or malfunction was cited as factor contributing to ignition for 72% of electrical distribution or lighting equipment home structure fires.

Source: NFPA’s “Home Electrical Fires ,” by John R. Hall, Jr., May 2010

Also see: Fact sheet on home electrical fires. (PDF, 59 KB)

NFPA does not test, label or approve any products.
Updated 5/10

Fire Chief calls for help

Fire chief calls for residential sprinklers after fire destroys  home

According to a report on BurlingtonFreePress.com, the chief of the Colchester Center (VT) Fire Company is re-issuing his call for local lawmakers to require automatic sprinkler systems in new homes. This comes after crews spent nearly six hour battling a blaze that eventually destroyed a local home.

The fire started in a shop room, but officials have yet to determine the cause, Chief Mike Chmielewski told the newspaper. “If they had residential sprinklers, the house would probably be standing today,” he said.

The report says that last October, local lawmakers shelved the fire chiefs’ proposal because opponents questioned the relative benefits of sprinklers and said the sprinkler mandate would have boosted the cost of new housing. According to a report from the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the cost of installing sprinkler systems to the home builder averages $1.61 per sprinklered square foot.

Read the full news report on BurlingtonFreePress.com.