This is the biggest fire risk in your home—here’s how to prevent it

Julia MacDougall,

Take these preventative measures to put your mind at ease.

Listen, we get it, doing laundry is tedious and time-consuming, regardless of whether you have the best washing machine on the market or a cheap washer/dryer pair in the basement of your apartment complex. As such, no one really wants to spend more time than they already do with their washer and dryer.

However, dryers are a common cause of house fires. Yes, statistically, you’re much more likely to set your house aflame while cooking in the kitchen, but a significant number of home fires start in the laundry room. The National Fire Protection Association reports that, between 2010-2014, an average of nearly 16,000 fires were reported each year that were attributed to washers and dryers. Nearly all of those fires were caused by dryers, and the leading cause of those dryer fires? Ignition of “flammable by-products” like lint or dust due to a “failure to clean“.