What To Do If Your Tumble Dryer Catches Fire
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- On August 30, 2022
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- dryer fires, dryer vent cleaning, dryer vents, every dryer, professional, safety, signs
Do you know what to do if your dryer catches on fire? Laundry day shouldn’t be dangerous, but dryer fire statistics are alarming. Every year, clothes dryers start approximately 2,900 house fires. We recently restored several rooms in a home that was damaged when the dryer caught on fire. This kind of emergency can sometimes be safely taken care of, but it can also quickly become life-threatening. We want you to be prepared.
Your strongest line of defense against any type of home fire is a well-practiced evacuation plan. If you suddenly face flames in the laundry room, knowing how to put out a dryer fire can make a difference, but never risk your safety. If you’re certain you can contain the blaze, follow these six steps for extinguishing a clothes dryer fire. Otherwise, evacuate the house immediately, and call the fire department.
HOW TO PUT OUT A DRYER FIRE IN 6 FAST STEPS
1. KNOW THE SIGNS
Smoke is an obvious sign that your dryer is catching on fire, but be alert to other warnings. A burning odor, popping sounds or excessive heat around the appliance are all cause for alarm.
2. DON’T OPEN THE DRYER
Leave the dryer door closed. It can be hot enough to burn your hand, and opening it can feed oxygen to the fire. You also risk exposure to carbon monoxide and toxic smoke from burning synthetic materials.
3. EXTINGUISH THE FIRE
Use an ABC extinguisher to put out the dryer fire using OSHA’s P.A.S.S. technique.
P – Pull the extinguisher pin with a firm, smooth motion.
A – Aim low, and point the nozzle at the fire’s base.
S – Squeeze the lever firmly to release extinguishing compounds.
S – Sweep and spray from side to side along the fire’s base.
4. UNPLUG THE DRYER
Once you’re certain you’ve put out the dryer fire, unplug the unit from its wall outlet. If you think the connections might be damaged, don’t try to disconnect the dryer.
5. MAKE A SAFE EXIT
As you leave the laundry room, close the door behind you. This small move helps contain flames from an outbreak if smoldering materials should reignite. Turn off utilities to the room at their outside source.
6. STAY SAFE AFTER THE FIRE
Immediately have your home’s electrical system inspected by a licensed electrician. He or she can take care of affected wiring in areas adjacent to the fire and address any problems that might pose a danger to the rest of the house.
If damages aren’t too bad, fire cleanup can be a DIY job. Be sure to follow all recommended precautions. Leave heavy smoke and soot removal to restoration specialists who also repair fire-damaged floors, walls and ceilings.