What To Do in the Event of a Dryer Fire

Although dryer fires are relatively rare, they do happen an alarming amount. Every year clothes dryers cause close to 3,000 house fires in the U.S. When properly maintained, a clothes dryer is a safe and incredibly useful appliance; however, when improperly ventilated or when dryer lint is allowed to build up, these devices can quickly turn into a severe fire hazard. A dryer fire can cause significant damage to your home and potentially start a larger house fire that can be destructive and life-threatening. So, let’s take a look at what you can do if a dryer fire occurs.

Recognize the Signs of a Clothes Dryer Fire

The clearest sign that a fire has occurred is when smoke is visibly coming from your clothes dryer. In some cases, however, smoke may not be immediately visible, in which case it is important to be aware of other signs that a fire may have started. A smell of burning material, sounds of popping, or an excessive amount of heat emanating from the clothes dryer can all be signs that a fire has broken out.

Prepare To Evacuate

Once you are aware that there is a fire present, you must first of all be willing and ready to evacuate and call the fire department. Knowing how to put out a dryer fire can potentially make the difference between significant and limited property damage, but you should never put your own safety at risk. If you determine that you are capable of putting out the fire, then you can proceed with the next step, but if you are unsure, then evacuate your home.

Do Not Open the Dryer Door

It can be tempting to look inside and see how bad the fire is but do not open the door to the dryer. First of all, it is likely hot enough to burn your hand, and secondly, you will feed the fire additional oxygen. This can cause the fire to grow uncontrollably and release a variety of toxic gases into the air.

Use a Fire Extinguisher

Using an ABC fire extinguisher, you can follow the OSHA recommended P.A.S.S technique to extinguish the blaze.

  • P – Pull the extinguisher’s pin
  • A – Aim low toward the base of the fire
  • S – Squeeze the handle
  • S – Sweep from side to side along the base of the fire

Disconnect the Dryer’s Power Cable

After determining that the fire has been completely extinguished, you can attempt to unplug its power cable. If there is any indication that the power cable may be damaged, then do not attempt to disconnect it.

Shut the Door and Leave

Once everything appears safe, there is no reason to stay around longer than you need to. Exit the area and make sure to shut the door behind you in order to contain the fumes, as well as any flames, should any smoldering materials reignite. Next, shut off the power to the dryer from the outside electrical box.

Begin the Remediation Process

Now that everything is settled, you will need to begin the remediation process to take care of all the damages and soot left behind by the fire. First of all, you will need a licensed electrician to review your home’s electrical wiring to determine if the fire caused any damage. A professional remediation company can remove any soot and heavy smoke buildup from your home and repair any damages it causes to your home’s structure and appearance.

A dryer fire can be a devastating occurrence that can quickly spread, so knowing how to put one out can make the difference between mild damages limited to one space and a house fire that can cause irreparable damages and injuries. Always put safety first and only attempt to contain the blaze if you are certain it is safe to do so.

Contact Us

For a professional fire remediation company that will always put you first, contact Restore Pro. Our experienced remediation team is ready to help you restore your property to its pre-loss condition. Call us at 1-800-847-0114 and connect with us on Facebook.