According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), clothes dryers account for over 15,000 fires annually and cause approximately $240 million in damage. Worse, they cause hundreds of injuries and more than a dozen deaths per year on average.
Dryer fires are most commonly caused by the tremendous amount of heat that has been built up within the dryer which can catch lint on fire. The fires often then spread to other areas of the property and cause extensive damage.
To help prevent dryer fires and keep your home safe:
- Remove lint from the lint screen after every use. This screen is important as it prevents lint from getting into the dryer's ventilation system. Never use the dryer without the lint screen properly installed.
- Regularly clean the dryer vent and ventilation duct (the exhaust duct running from the dryer to the outdoor dryer vent). Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for disconnecting and cleaning the vent and duct.
- Have the dryer and the dryer's ventilation system professionally cleaned once per year (families with more members - and therefore, more frequent dryer use - should consider semiannual professional cleanings). This should include cleaning and/or replacing the vent hose.
- Only run the dryer when you are home (and awake) so you are able to identify any warning signs or concerns, and immediately address any problems.
- Do not overfill the dryer; split very large loads into smaller loads.
- Keep the area around the dryer clean and free of debris and lint. Do not store anything on top of the dryer.
- Be certain to have a fire extinguisher in close proximity to the dryer.
- Be sure the home has fully operational smoke detectors.
- Call 911 right away if a fire has already started!
NBIC invites agents to share these fire prevention tips with our mutual policyholders.
The NBIC Claims team stands ready to service policyholders who may suffer a loss. Losses can be reported online at https://www.nbic.com/claims/ or by calling 800-343-3375, option 2, then 1.