Don’t Let Your Dryer Turn Into a Fire Hazard: Expert Advice from EMC Security

Aug 5, 2023 | Fire Safety

At EMC Security, we know that fire safety is a top concern for homeowners, regardless of whether you live in an old or new home.

In fact, yesterday at 4:24 PM, we received a fire alarm from Barbara J.’s home, reminding us of the importance of fire monitoring. We immediately reached out to assess the situation and offer assistance. Barbara informed us that her dryer had caught fire, but she managed to extinguish it herself. Recognizing the potential danger, Barbara requested an inspection by the fire department to ensure her home’s safety, so we dispatched help to her location. This incident highlights the critical role that fire monitoring plays in protecting our homes and loved ones.

Contrary to popular belief, new homes are actually at greater risk of fast-moving, high-damage fires. The open floor plans often found in newer homes provide excellent air circulation and great sightlines. While these features are beneficial, they also allow fire to spread quickly, providing ample oxygen and a clear path for the flames to travel. Additionally, the abundance of technology in newer homes, including computers, televisions, tablets, and phones, poses an additional fire risk. These devices are often made with synthetic materials that burn quickly, putting your home in jeopardy. 

Fires starting in dryers can pose a significant risk of fire.  According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), dryers, along with washing machines, contribute an average of 15,970 fires annually in the United States.  Out of these fires, dryers account for 92% and result in approximately $238 million in property damage. The most common cause of dryer fires is the failure to clean and maintain the appliances with lint build-up in the dryer vents.

It is crucial to take preventive measures to reduce the risk of dryer fires.
  1. Clean the lint filter after every load of laundry. Buildup of lint in the filter can restrict airflow and increase the risk of a fire.
  2. Regularly clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct. Lint can accumulate in these areas over time, causing a blockage that hampers airflow.
  3. Avoid overloading the dryer. Overloading the machine can lead to overheating and increase the risk of a fire. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for load capacity.
  4. Use metal ducts for venting. Flexible or plastic ducts are more prone to lint buildup and can be a fire hazard. Metal ducts provide better airflow and are less likely to ignite if a fire starts.
  5. Avoid leaving the dryer running when you’re not at home or when you go to bed.

What else can you do?

Installing a fire monitoring system is the number one action you can take to safeguard your new home. At EMC Security, we believe so strongly in the importance of fire monitoring that we include it at no additional cost in all of our security systems. This comprehensive fire monitoring will promptly detect any signs of fire and immediately alert you and your family. By taking swift action, you can minimize potential damage and increase your chances of saving lives.

Contact us today to learn more about how our fire monitoring system can be seamlessly integrated into your home security.