Laundry 101: How to prevent laundry room fires with these dryer safety tips


NIXA, Mo- The Nixa Fire Department has had a busy week with the fire that happened Monday night at the very popular Lola’s Pastry & Eatery.

The fire started from lint igniting in the dryer vent. The owner had placed the laundry in the dryer just before leaving for the evening.

Nixa Fire Department releases the cause of fire at Lola’s Pastries

Nixa Fire Protection District Assistant Fire Chief Whitney Weaver and Fire Inspector Ron Smith talked about laundry room safety and how you can avoid fires like the one at Lola’s from happening in your home or business.

If you have a washer and dryer at your business:

  • Have a professional come out and clean and maintain your washer and dryer annually or maybe twice a year depending on materials being cleaned
  • Clean the lint trap after every load
  • Clean the dryer tube that leads outside
Courtesy: USFA

“Although you have that lint trap you’re still gonna have tiny pieces of lint that are going to get through it. It gets bound up in that pipe especially the accordion types that are usually the least expensive some of them come with some dryers. Those can be dangerous because there’s a lot of cracks and crevasses in those, they turn sharp corners, and you can accumulate a lot of lint that could potentially catch fire,” says Weaver.

For at-home washer and dryer safety (According to the U.S. Fire Administration):

  • Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional
  • Make sure the correct electrical plug and outlet are used and that the dryer is connected properly
  • Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. Also, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged
  • Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months
  • Have gas-powered dryers inspected every year by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are together and free of leaks
  • Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that can burn

For more tips click here.

Clothes dryer don’t’s

  • Don’t use a clothes dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.
  • Don’t overload the dryer.
  • Don’t dry anything containing foam, rubber or plastic. An example of an item not to place in a dryer is a bathroom rug with a rubber backing.
  • Don’t dry any item for which manufacturers’ instructions state “dry away from heat.”
  • Don’t dry items that have come into contact with anything flammable like alcohol, cooking oils or gasoline. Dry them outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, away from heat.

The number one DON’T even the Nixa Fire Protection District mentioned was to not leave the dryer running if you leave home/work or when you go to bed.

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