Another Dryer Fire
updated: Feb 28, 2013, 4:19 PM
By The Urban Hikers
One of the most common fires encountered by local firefighters is the household clothes dryer fire. The
latest dryer fire occurred Wednesday night at a home on Anacapa Street.
Just after 10:00 p.m. as a couple was finishing up their laundry, they noticed smoke coming from a
clothes dryer located on their service porch at the rear of their home. On closer inspection, they
discovered the clothes in the dryer were on fire. While the woman called 911, the man brought a nearby
hose inside and hosed down the dryer, extinguishing the open flames. When firefighters arrived and the
house was filled with smoke and the contents of the dryer was still smoldering.
Firefighters used a fan to clear the smoke and moved the dryer to the outside of the home. There, they
then used the garden hose to douse the disconnected and partially disassembled dryer to be certain the
fire was completely out. Firefighters also checked the interior of the home with a thermal imaging
device for possible extension of the fire.
Since the fire had not extended beyond the clothes dryer, the residents were cleared to reoccupy the
According to responding Fire Captain Chris Mailes of the Santa Barbara Fire Department, there have
been four local dryer fires within the past two weeks. They occur when the contents of the dryer gets so
hot it catches fire. This can occur for any of the following reasons: 1) Lint is blocking the vent, causing
the contents of the dryer to overheat. 2) The dryer is overloaded, causing its contents to overheat. 3)
There is a mechanical malfunction with the dryer which causes overheating of the dryer's contents.
Dryer fires can be quite dangerous if the fire extends into the home igniting it on fire too.
Captain Chris Mailes makes the following are recommendations to reduce the risk of a dryer fire: 1)
make sure the lint trap is clean before every load; 2) make sure the exhaust/ air ducting is clear,
allowing hot air to efficiently vent from the dryer; 3) don't overload the dryer; 4) make sure the dryer is
in good working order. If it's an older model have it serviced routinely; 5) always be certain someone is
present while the dryer is operating so that in the event of a malfunction, the dryer can be turned off
and the malfunction dealt with.
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