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USFA report: Clothes dryers cause alarming amount of house fires

Posted On Mon, August 20, 2012

According to a new report released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), clothes dryers are involved in a fairly large amount of yearly house fires.

The report, based on data collected between 2008 and 2010, states that clothes dryer fires cause an estimated 2,900 house fires per year, which leads to $35 million in property loss.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported 156,400 home fires in the U.S. in 2010, meaning that clothes dryer blazes accounted for approximately 2 percent of all home structure fires.

For comparison, candles, a much more-documented cause of fires, cause about 3 percent of home fires every year. Cooking accidents cause the majority of house fires, leading to 44 percent of home structural blazes in 2010.

Although fires are covered under basic homeowners insurance rates and premiums, consumers should be aware that, like candle fires, clothes dryer fires could be categorized as caused inherently by negligence. According to the USFA report, failure to properly clean the dryer was the cause of 34 percent of clothes dryer fires.

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