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Laundry room safety may be one of the most overlooked areas of home accident prevention. In general, most people are aware of the myriad types of accidents that could happen in the bathroom or the kitchen. However, when we think “home safety”, we tend not to consider the laundry room.

In fact, thousands of injuries and accidental poisonings occur in the laundry room each year. Also, thousands of house fires are started by dryer accidents and improper maintenance. Having a good homeowners insurance policy in place and following some basic precautions will ease your mind and make your living space much safer.

Laundry Room Safety Tips

The following laundry room safety tips are aimed at raising awareness of potential dangers and helping you prevent injury and loss.

Keep the Floor Dry

Spilling detergent or bleach on the floor, or dripping water from soaked clothes being transferred from the washer to the dryer can cause your laundry room floor to become wet. Detergent or soapy water spills are particularly dangerous, as they present much more of a slip hazard than plain water.

Bleach is toxic to animals and humans when ingested and corrosive to the touch and looks deceptively like water. Clean up any spills as soon as they occur. If your washing machine is leaking, consult the manual or call a plumber as soon as possible.

Properly Store Detergents and Other Chemicals

Chemicals should always be stored in their original containers to make sure they’re clearly labeled and not mistaken for other substances. Bleach, fabric softener, oxidizing cleaners, and laundry detergent are all harmful if ingested and so should be kept out of reach of young children. Store them in a place too high for small children to reach, or in childproof bins or behind cupboard doors with child locks installed.

Make Sure Lint Traps are Clean

Clean the lint out of your dryer after every load that goes through it. A buildup of lint can prevent the dryer from efficiently expelling hot air. This, in turn, makes it more likely that your dryer will overheat and cause a fire or require costly repairs.

Gently scrub the lint trap and screen with a nylon brush every six months for a deeper clean. This will not only prevent damage to your dryer but keep your home safe from dryer fires as well.

Check the Outside Vent

The outside opening of your dryer vent can easily become clogged. Birds and nesting animals like squirrels and packrats can fill the vent with twigs. Dead leaves and other yard debris can blow into the vent, and it can become congested with lint from the inside. This presents a fire hazard and can result in reduced efficiency and functionality of your dryer.

Read also: How to Prevent Fires within Your Home

If you find that your dryer is taking longer than normal to dry your clothes, it is likely time for you to clean your dryer exhaust vent. Barring any noticeable problems with your dryer, the outside vent should be cleaned at least once a year, and it is recommended that you use a professional service to ensure it’s done properly.

Keep Children and Pets Out

The best way to solve problems is to stop them from happening in the first place. Add “no kids or pets in the laundry room” to your list of house rules and see that it’s enforced. Keeping your little ones out of the laundry room keeps them safely away from dangerous chemicals and removes the temptation from them to put things in the washer or dryer that may damage your machines or cause an accident.

While these laundry room safety tips will help you make your home safer and protect your equipment, a homeowners insurance policy will protect you in case of accidental injury.

Read also: How Much Home Insurance Should I Have?

Let the Thomson Smith & Leach Insurance Group be your partner in letting you and your loved ones rest assured they and their possessions are covered should worst come to worst. Contact TSL today to find the policies to best protect what matters most.