Dryer Safety, And Insurance Coverage For Dryer Fires
Nobody likes doing laundry. But laundry can go from miserable to dangerous pretty quickly just using a household item we all use—the dryer. Dryer fires can be serious, and many people don’t even know they are a hazard.
Dryer Fires are Common
An astounding 92% of all home fires are caused by clothes dryers. In 2014, the dryers accounted for over $200 0million in property damage.
Your washing machine can catch fire also, but washing machine fires tend to start from the machine itself; that is, from faulty wiring or some defect in the washer. That’s unlike dryer fires, which tend to start because of foreign objects, like dust or lint, or from flammable clothing being in the dryer and catching fire.
The number one reason why fires in the dryer start, was the failure to clean the dryer. Dust fiber and lint were the items most likely to start a fire, according to a U.S. Fire Administration report.
The cost of damage depends on how far the fire spreads. Limited to the appliances themselves and the surrounding area, the average claim was about $2,000. However, when the fire spread even farther through the home, the damages reached an average of $40,000.
Coverage is Available
Most homeowners insurance policies will cover you for losses that come from a dryer (or washing machine) fire. Your property damage policy will replace and repair anything damaged by the fire, and you may even have money in your policy to live, if you cannot live in your home because of the fire’s damage, or during repairs to your home.
How can you avoid a dryer fire? There are some common sense things you can do, to minimize your risk of a fire in the dryer. The first is to make sure that the lint filter is cleaned out between each dryer cycle. The filer should always be in the dryer when it runs, and should fit snugly in its compartment.
The dryer should have some airflow around it, and should not be in contact with items that could catch fire.
Never dry anything that is foam or rubber, and only leave the dryer running when you are home or in a position to monitor it. Additionally, don’t dry anything that has been soaked in any flammable material, such as a shirt or rag that was used to clean gasoline or cleaning fluids.
Fight Insurance Denials
After a dryer fire, it is possible that the insurance company may try to deny your claim, by blaming the fire on something that is not covered, but which is excluded by your policy. They will make all kinds of allegations, as to what may have caused the fire. Don’t let them do this—dryer fires are covered, and you have a right to insurance proceeds if your home is damaged because of a fire in the washing machine or dryer.
Contact the Miami property damage insurance attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today if your home has been damaged because of a fire and you need help with your homeowner’s insurance company.