Can My Clothes Dryer Cause Fire Damage?

Did you know nearly 3,000 fires are caused by a clothes dryer in the United States every single year? They generally happen more frequently in the fall and winter months, with January being the month with the most reported dryer fires. As we approach the new year, awareness is key.

The dryer is an essential appliance in your home and gets plenty of use throughout the year — especially families that have piles of laundry every week. In fact, the dryer is so essential to our weekly or monthly routine that we forget just how quickly and easily things can go terribly wrong.

The truth is dryer fires happen more often than you’d think. They generally come without warning and there’s no telling just how bad the fire damage might be. That’s why you have to know how to prevent them, but also how to react in the event of a dryer fire in your home.

Most Common Causes of Dryer Fires

One of the reasons why we see so many dryer fires every year is because of all the different ways a dryer fire can start. Without the proper installation, use, and maintenance, your dryer could be at risk of catching on fire. And once a fire starts, it’s not always easy to stop it.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of dryer fires:

  • Clogged vents, ducts, and filters
  • Lint buildup
  • Faulty wiring and damaged machinery
  • Overstuffing the dryer while using it
  • Mechanical and electrical failure
  • Putting plastic, rubber, or foam materials in the dryer

Of all the causes of dryer fires, lint buildup, and clogged airways are the leading causes and require special attention. Since lint is highly flammable, it won’t take much for it to ignite in flames. When that lint is built up, that fire can grow and spread quickly without hesitation.

How to Safely Prevent a Dryer Fire

Wouldn’t it be nice if dryer fires weren’t a thing and we didn’t have to deal with them? While we can’t 100% avoid dryer fires, especially since freak accidents do occur, there are plenty of things you can start doing today to lower your chances of experiencing a dryer fire in your home.

Let’s take a look at some of our most prominent prevention tips for a dryer fire:

  • Make sure the dryer is installed properly before using it
  • Make sure the dryer is plugged into the proper outlet
  • Don’t forget to clean the lint screen after each use
  • Have the vent and duct cleaned several times per year
  • Consider switching to a smooth duct if you don’t already have one
  • Schedule regular inspections to ensure the dryer is working properly
  • Only use the dryer when you’re present at home

A dryer fire can be devastating to a household or business, especially since it often happens out of nowhere and catches you by surprise. With the right lifestyle choices and habitual changes, you can put yourself and your family in a safer position as we prepare for ‘dryer fire season.’

What to Do If Your Dryer Catches On Fire

Not everyone is going to be lucky enough to prevent a dryer fire, even if they do everything right. That’s why it’s always best to have a plan when things go south and to make sure your family is on the same page. Time is of the essence once a dryer fire starts, so you have to act quickly.

Here’s a brief rundown of what to do if your dryer catches on fire:

  • Evacuate the home or business and call the local fire department
  • If it’s a small fire, put the fire out with an ABC fire extinguisher
  • Only unplug the dryer if the connections haven’t been damaged
  • If you have to open the laundry room door, beware of the hot handle
  • Document and take photographs of the damage
  • Contact your insurance company and file a claim
  • Contact a local restoration company to restore any fire damage in Tampa.

The sooner you act in the event of a fire, the better chance you have of minimizing the amount of fire damage and keeping your family or guests safe. While dryer fires are bound to happen from time to time, you can safely and quickly recover with the right decisions and reactions.

What Can DriRite Do to Help?

At DriRite, we take pride in serving the Tampa Bay community with reliable and experienced fire, smoke and water damage repair in Tampa. We understand how frustrating and devastating this must be for you, which is why we stand ready and willing to help you begin the healing process.

Contact us today to learn more about fire restoration in Tampa, schedule a consultation, or take advantage of our 24/7 emergency services. As one of the best water damage, fire damage, and mold remediation companies in Tampa, we can’t wait to be of assistance to your family!

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