Do you ever leave home with a dryer running?

I mentioned in my “earliest time to use power tools outside” thread that I had another debate going with the Spouse, so here it is.

I absolutely refuse to leave the house unattended if there’s a dryer running, and I insist on shutting it off before we leave. I don’t even like to have it running while we’re asleep, but I’ve conceded that one as long as it’s on a finite timer and not on the “just keep going until the stuff’s dry” mode. The Spouse claims that I’m being way too nervous about the whole thing, even after I’ve cited numerous news stories about fires caused by dryers, and web sites where firefighters say never to leave the dryer running when nobody’s home.

I’ve managed to extract his promise that he’ll never leave it running and leave the house–only for my peace of mind, not because he thinks it’s a big deal–so it’s just academic now. But the thought of our cats getting caught in a fire caused by a faulty dryer… :eek:

So, my questions: am I being overly nervous? Do you leave your dryer running when nobody’s home? Have you ever had (or known anybody who’s had) a mishap because of it?

I am nervous leaving the washer, dryer, or the dishwasher running when we are not home…something that was driven into my head by my mother, who knew someone who died in a fire started by a dishwasher.

My husband, however, thinks I am crazy, and turns them on all the time right before we leave the house. I asked him to at least do me the favor of not saying to me, “I’ll be ready to go in a minute…I just want to throw a load in, first.” Then I don’t have to worry about it, and if the house burns down, it will be his fault, not mine. :slight_smile:

I leave my dryer running unattended all the time. I’ve done this as long as I’ve owned my own place - and even when I was renting. So all told, it’s probably close to 20+ years (counting leaving the dryer in the apartment complex - where you would have been very uncomfortable “attending” the dryer in that small laundry room).
I’ve never had any problems, and I’ve never known of anybody who has had any problems doing this (although it is not as common a practice with the people I know). I’ve never even known about firefighter’s warnings about such a practice.

I was in a house fire caused by a dryer. I won’t leave the house with it running. I will, however, leave with the washer or dishwasher running. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a trauma with either of those. It’s all about the lint.

Done it as long as I remember, no problems to report.

The only incident of a fire caused by a dryer of which I have even second-hand knowledge was my husband’s kids - the ex never cleaned the lint trap, nor taught her daughters to, and they overstuffed it (the dryer, not the lint trap) with a very large comforter, which overheated the motor, and…

the moral of the story is: clean your lint trap every load, and don’t overload your dryer. Duh.

I do. But I have no cats at this time and this house is at least 400 years old. So I think it can stand up to a dryer. My own fear of fire has abated quite a lot since we moved. :slight_smile:

Nevertheless I do still clean the vent pipe and so on regularly because of my own fear of fire – which my spouse thinks is insane.

I wouldn’t leave home with the dryer running. I also wouldn’t leave the dishwasher running. I think it stems from a childhood experience where we came home to find the entire kitchen flooded by the apparently broken dishwasher. Plus, I live on the second floor, so if that happened the downstairs neighbors would be screwed too.

Yes. But I clean the lint filter after every use, so I don’t think there’s much risk.

You are right to feel as you do, stick to your guns. Better safe then sorry.

I don’t leave the dryer running. I do run the washing machine or the dishwasher–though usually we run the dishes when we go to bed, since it’s so loud.

I will never, ever leave home with the toaster on.

But the dryer? I’ll think it over and get back to you.

No, never.

It’s very old data, but “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 1998, clothes dryers were associated with 15,600 fires, which resulted in 20 deaths and 370 injuries.

And even though lack of maintenance is cited as the primary cause of those fires, and in spite of meticulously cleaning the lint trap after every use and ensuring air flow out through the outside vent, it’s not a chance I’m willing to take with my wood house, its contents or our lives.

Nope, I have a fear of fire, and reasonable or not, I turn off the dryer before we go out, and won’t run the dishwasher either when we’re not home.

I figure there is no harm in being overly careful.

I used to, all the time, and then I read a thread right here about a dryer fire that happened to people who cleaned the lint trap, did everything right, and were at home when it happened, luckily, because the thing went up in flames. From then on I’ve been very different about how I treat the dryer.

If the dryer’s going to burn my house up, I’d rather not be there when it does.

I do. However, I’m sure the lint trap is always clean. I empty it every time I do laundry.

I do to and I noticed LINT outdoors next to the exhaust port. WTH? Now I’m even more paranoid.

No dryers, washers, or stoves when I’m away, even if I’m mowing the lawn (maybe the washer because it’s in the basement and can’t flood anything). I keep fire extinquishers at different locations around the house in case something happens. It’s surprising what you can do with even a small extinquisher.

I don’t, but my only reason is that I always take my clothes out of the dryer right away I don’t have to iron or anything. I do clean the lint-trap though. ’
I’ve never put much thought into it.

I never do it and you’re right not to. The bf laughs at me, but my grandparents (who are very good about cleaning the lint trap, not overloading, and all around keeping safe with electricity) had a house fire start this very way. Luckily they were home at the time, and they stopped it before it got too out of control. It’s admittedly a small risk, but since it’s so easy to not risk it, why would you want to?

Always do, never give it a second thought. Don’t intend to start worrying about it now.