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Home fires involving clothes dryers and washing machines

Report: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Clothes Dryers and Washing Machines"
Author: Richard Campbell
Issued: March 2017


*Errata (PDF) issued June 13, 2017

Report highlights

  • In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 15,970 home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year.
  • These fires caused annual averages of 13 civilian deaths, 444 civilian injuries, and $238 million in direct property damage.
  • The vast majority of fires (92%) involved clothes dryers.
  • The leading items first ignited in dryer fires were dust, fiber or lint (26% of total) and clothing (26%), while items first ignited in washing machine fires were part of the appliance itself, including wire or cable insulation (26%), appliance housing or casing (24%), and drive belt (11%).

Leading item first ignited in non-confined fires involving clothes washer or clothes dryer, 2010-2014

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