In 2010, an estimated 16,800 reported U.S. non-confined or confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines (including combination washer/dryers) resulted in 51 civilian deaths, 380 civilian injuries, and $236 million in direct property damage.
Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
Facts and figures
- Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 4%.
- The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean (32%), followed by unclassified mechanical failure or malfunction (22%). Eight percent were caused by some type of electrical failure or malfunction.
- The risk of fire is roughly equal for gas-fueled clothes dryers and electric-powered clothes dryers.
Source: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Clothes Dryers and Washing Machines" report
Also see: Fact sheet on home fires involving dryers and washing machines. (PDF, 59 KB)
NFPA's Lisa Braxton gives a few simple safety tips that can help prevent a clothes dryer fire.
NFPA does not test, label or approve any products.