EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ -  Firefighters arrived at the scene of a smoky fire near the Brunswick Square Mall late this morning.  The alarm was sounded as a result of a dryer fire in a laundry room in the basement of 61 Rues Lane.  "A little after noon, the residents were safely evacuated," said Captain Joe Bassano of the EBFD.  

Trucks arrived from both East Brunswick and Spotswood to address the fire.  Traffic on Rues Lane was rerouted to accommodate vehicles and personnel.  

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, "Dryers and washing machines were involved in one out of every 22 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments in 2006-2010.

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Facts and figures

  • In 2010, an estimated 16,800 reported U.S. non-confined or confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines resulted in 51 civilian deaths, 380 civilian injuries and $236 million in direct property damage.
  • Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 4%.
  • The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean (32%), followed by unclassified mechanical failure or malfunction (22%). Eight percent were caused by some type of electrical failure or malfunction.

Here are some tips for dryer safety:

DRYER SAFETY TIPS

 

The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires is failure to clean them.
Download these NFPA safety tips on washers and dryers. (PDF, 105 KB)  
  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
  • Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
  • Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.