a woman reaching in the dryer for clothes - domestic seriesDryers are modern conveniences unlike any other. Instead of waiting all day for clothes to dry in the sun, we can now place our washed clothing into the dryer, where they can be ready to be folded and put away within the hour. But the household dryer can cause major damage to your home if it hasn’t been maintained properly. In fact, fires that originated from the dryer are a top cause of house fires.

In four years from 2006 to 2010, it was estimated by the National Fire Protection Association that 1 of every 22 house fires reported by victims to their local fire departments were because of fires originating in washers or dryers, with 92% of these fires being from dryers. But this doesn’t mean you should hang your clothes out on the line just yet.

Preventive Maintenance Is the Way to Safety

Everyone in the household that uses the dryer can help to be responsible for the safety of the home, say insurance claim adjusters. All it takes is to empty the lint traps following every removal of a load of clothing from the dryer. Not doing so causes air flow blockage. When a dryer doesn’t receive enough air flow, increased heat and ultimately fire can be the result. In addition to the lint trap in the front, it’s important to check regularly in the back of the lint trap itself for debris, as well as around the back of the dryer.

Air flow also occurs via the dryer vent itself. This is the long, accordion-like tube that travels from the back of the dryer to the outside. This too can become clogged with debris, and so checking the vent tube on a regular basis is another great way to help avoid a fire from occurring.

What you place into the dryer could also be increasing your risk of fire. You may have seen signs in your neighborhood Laundromat, warning against placing certain items, like rubber mats into the machines. This is because certain materials can spark fires when they have been heated to a certain degree. Other items considered to be generally unsafe to place in dryers include running shoes, any fabric made using plastics and items with flammable materials, such as gasoline, on them.  In this case, checking the label can be a good way to avoid placing something in the dryer that isn’t safe to be there.

Of course, there are many cases where a dryer is simply not working properly. In this case, a dryer fire can occur even if a family has been diligently cleaning out the lint traps and vent hose. Should this occur, a call to your Florida public adjuster following a dryer fire can be the smartest thing you do. The public adjuster has the know-how to make your claim a successful one. Call us today to discover how over 50 years of experience can work in your favor.