Safety share: Clothes dryer fire – near miss during family dinner
One evening, while Mike Edelen (HSE) and his family were getting ready to eat dinner, they noticed a burning smell.
“Initially I thought it could be something in the oven,” said Edelen. “But the smell of smoke was definitely coming from the dryer. I turned it off and unplugged it, not knowing if the smell was from the clothes, from something in the lint filter, or from faulty electronic components.”
Edelen investigated the exhaust, but didn’t see any issues. Eventually, he removed the dryer’s front panel and found charred lint inside the machine.
“I was surprised to read in the owner’s manual that this area needs to be cleaned out about once a year, because although you clean out your lint filter, the lint is able to get into other areas of the dryer and cause issues,” said Edelen. “When my family purchased our home, the dryer was included. I didn’t even think to clean it out after moving in.”
Before this incident, Edelen’s family used to leave their clothes dryer running overnight and when they would leave the house.
“I’m not sure we could have prevented this situation from escalating into a fire if we had not been at home, awake and near the dryer when the smoke first started,” said Edelen. “Lesson learned: Never leave the dryer on when you go to bed or leave the house.”
For additional details about what happened and three important clothes dryer safety tips from the Edelen family to yours, check out this safety share, courtesy of Mike Edelen (HSE).
All employees are encouraged to submit safety shares for inclusion in the Safety Share Library. Submission details are available on Inside Argonne.
Each month a safety share submitted by an individual will be selected to receive a Spot Award for demonstrated safety leadership. The Spot Award program offers three award levels: gold ($100), silver ($50) and bronze ($25).