Clothes Dryers and Washing Machines Fact Sheet
in 2010, an estimated 16,800 reported U.S. home* structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines (including combination washer/dryers) resulted in an estimated:
- 51 civilian deaths
- 380 civilian injuries
- $236 million in direct property damage
Leading Items First Ignited in Non-Confined Fires Involving Clothes Washer or Clothes Dryer, 2006-2010
- Dust, Fiber, or Lint
- Unclassified soft goods or clothing
- Wire or Cable insulation
- Appliance housing or casing
- Drive belt
In 2006 – 2010
- Most (81%) home structure fires involving washers or dryers began in a laundry room or area.
- Mot of these home fires involve clothes dryers (92%).
- The risk of fire is roughly equal for gas-fueled clothes dryers and electric-powered clothes dryers.
- The leading cause (32%) of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean.
*Homes are dwellings, duplexes, manufactured homes, apartments, townhouses, rowhouses, and condominiums.
Estimates are derived from the U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) Version 5.0 and NFPA’s annual fire department experience survey.