Laundry Safety

Photo Credit: r/ucsc

Laundry is an essential part of the daily routine for many members of our community.  In a region as active as Santa Cruz, clothes get dirty and having readily accessible laundry services is important!  UCSC Housing provides laundry services to residents while many off-campus housing facilities have on-site or nearby laundry facilities. 

Between 2010 and 2014, a total of 15,970 home fires involved a washing or drying machine.  Due to the heightened risk of fire spread on campus and in our community, it is important to practice safety when utilizing laundry machines.  However, most members of our community do not own the laundry machines we use.  As a result, reducing the risk will center around reporting problems and taking cleanliness steps while operating these machines.

Before using a dryer:

  • Check to make sure it has an intact, clean lint filter.
  • Check the drum of the dryer for any lint that was not captured by the lint filter and remove it.
  • Keep the area around the dryer clear of flammable objects (boxes, cleaning supplies, other clothes).
  • If you have clothes that have come into contact with flammable substances (gasoline, paint thinner) lay them out to dry naturally first and then wash and dry them as usual.

If you notice an issue with your dryer such as the lack of a lint filter, restricted air exhaust vent pipe, or any unexpected behavior you suspect stems from mechanical failure:

  • UCSC Housing Residents:  File a FixIt Ticket to CHES Facilities and Maintenance.
  • Tenant In-Home Laundry Users:  Notify your landlord immediately.

More Information

NFPA Clothes Dryer Safety (PDF)

NFPA Laundry Home Fires Fact Sheet (PDF)