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Lady leaves laundry on top of dryer. Her warning is a must-read for all homeowners
January 10, 2017
Most people are aware of the fire hazards a clothes dryer can present, especially if its lint screen or vent are not kept clear and properly maintained. But can a fire ignite from clothing itself -- even clothing that's been removed from the dryer?
Absolutely, said the fire chief who responded to the fire in the home of Tracy Crozier-Bovay, of Skaneateles, N.Y. After four fire trucks responded to the call and got the flames under control, the cause of the fire was determined to be a pile of hot, freshly laundered clothing that had been placed on top of the dryer.
Another member of Crozier-Bovay's household had put the clothes on the dryer before leaving for the evening, then returned a few hours later to find the home full of so much smoke that she couldn't even step through the door. The family's cats escaped into the fresh air and the home escaped structural damage, but the situation could have been far worse.
There are no hard statistics on fires caused by clothing removed from dryers, but Crozier-Bovay's post on Facebook notes that the local fire chief told her that even putting hot clothing onto a couch can start a fire. She created the post, with a startling photo of the damaged dryer, to make people aware of this possibility.
If your clothes feel exceptionally hot after a cycle in the dryer, thoroughly clean the appliance according to the manufacturer's instructions. If the temperature remains hot, call a certified repair person to see if the temperature gauge or other internal part needs replacing.